Monday, May 11, 2009

Zumthor Wins 2009 Pritzker

Peter Zumthor wins the Pritzker Prize. All the more amazing because he disowns the whole "starchitecture" system.

How does one explain the fascination with Peter Zumthor? It is not because of an architectural style. As the architect himself once said, “It is better not to talk of style but of a particular approach, a specific conscientiousness, in finding the solution to a task.” His projects are few in number, small in size, and located mostly within his own neighborhood, the Swiss Canton of Graub√ľnden, or in Germany, Austria, and Italy. His range is similarly restricted to noncommercial, individual residences or housing groups, and community, religious, or cultural institutions.

Note in the photo above the incorporation of the old remnants with the new work. Like Scarpa, he uses "raw" and indigenous materials rather than manufactured skins and frames. All the way back to the FLLW tradition of local materials, which is a key ingredient of sustainability in architectural design now (avoid embodiment of transported materials and oil-based mfr of building systems like steel and window wall - high energy to produce as well as import). Hopefully someday he will inspire a song, as well.

Slideshow: recent works