Naturally, Webber + Studio loves to discuss architects. To share some of this discussion, several  designers have volunteered to share their thoughts about architects who have caught their attention, whether positively or negatively. 

Today, April 26th, 2016 is Swiss Architect Peter Zumthor’s 73rd birthday. He won the Pritzker Prize of architecture in 2009, and the RIBA Royal Gold Medal in 2013. Designer Ayesha Erkin had this to say –

What was your first impression of Zumthor and his work? Has your impression changed over time?

My first impression of Peter Zumthor was primarily awed confusion. He was one of the very first architects I was introduced to. As a freshman, I was confused by the simplicity of his work and awed by the power of it. My impression has changed slightly due to gaining a deeper understanding of his work and of architecture as a whole. Even after visiting his work, the feeling of awe has remained.

What are your favorite or least favorite Zumthor works?  Why?

My favorite works include the Swiss Sound Box and the Therme Vals. I learned about both of these works early on in my education.

Swiss Sound Box, Swiss Pavilion, Expo 2000, Hanover, Germany 2000 Photo by Thomas Flechtner

Swiss Sound Box, Swiss Pavilion, Expo 2000, Hanover, Germany 2000. Photo by Thomas Flechtner. Source: www.pritzkerprize.com

  [spacer height=”20px”]  a) Swiss Sound Box, Swiss Pavilion, Expo 2000

The Swiss Sound Box was an incredible demonstration of the connection between materiality, light and sound. It was one of the first projects that demonstrated to me how architecture affects all of your senses. The plan itself looks like art.

Swiss Sound Box Plan

Swiss Sound Box Plan

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Thermal Bath Vals, Graubünden, Switzerland, 1996  Photo by Helene Binet Source: http://www.pritzkerprize.com/2009/works

Therme Bath Vals, Graubünden, Switzerland, 1996. Photo by Helene Binet. Photo Source: http://www.pritzkerprize.cob)

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b) Therme Vals

Therme Vals is one of those buildings that was deemed “iconic” when introduced in class. I always knew it was an incredible piece of work, but I didn’t really feel so until I visited it in spring of 2014. It is a spectacular space; visually, physically and spiritually. And what’s not to love about a bath amid the Swiss Alps?