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Peter Zumthor: Architect and Conservationist

Jun 30, 2021 | Architect, Architecture, Featured Professional, Featured Projects, Historic Architecture

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Peter Zumthor was born on April 26, 1943, in Basel, Switzerland. He is a world-renowned award-winning architect, but he is also a conservationist.

Peter Zumthor himself stated in an interview back in 2018 for, “Architects may be limited in their power to prevent climate change, but they can do their part by designing buildings to last centuries rather than decades.”

The train of thought that Zumthor has is keeping the materials that he uses in his buildings very basic. He uses wood, stone, and steel because these materials are sustainable; Zumthor’s only concern is how the triple-layered glass he uses will hold up.

He believes that it is the surroundings that make up the uniqueness of each space and place. He also feels that since each surrounding and its setup and the fundamental need of the “place” are different, this is his reason why he cannot restrict himself to just one style structure. When he has taken on a design project, Peter’s main goal is that there has to be a harmonious influence between the structure (building) with the surrounding environment. Then there has to be a unifying influence between the materials of the structure and the structure itself. Then last but not least, the sense of belonging of the structure to that specific community in that particular location.

Peter Zumthor’s progressive thinking has led him to many awards, including the Carlsberg Architectural Prize, Praemium Imperiale, Pritzker Prize, and the Royal Gold Medal.

Zumthor also encouraged that creators (architects) should revisit and, in some cases, be taught to rely on normal, simple, and anonymous creations. He wants them to see the charm and beauty of the ordinary and therefore be moved to use it.

Perhaps seeing the beauty and charm of the ordinary is sustainability at its best, for she who bestows this stays till the end. Just a thought.

Photo Credit: Archisoup





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