Peter Zumthor: His Architecture and Philosophy

Peter Zumthor: His Architecture and Philosophy


Peter Zumthor studied Architecture at the Pratt Institute in New York.  As the son of a swiss cabinet maker, Peter may have picked up his famous craftsmanship from observing his father at work. Swiss artisans are known for their quality of work and attention to detail.

Peter Zumthor: His Architecture and Philosophy
Peter Zumthor: His Architecture and Philosophy

Peter Zumthor And Architectural Style

Zumthor’s works are famous for being timeless. For example, the buildings that he designed in the 80’s feel like they were built in 2019. He can also be classified as a minimalist because his buildings are very simple. Finally, he is classified as functionalist as well because he ensures that his buildings serve the purpose they were created for.

The Philosophy Of Peter Zumthor

Peter Zumthor does not believe that architects should focus on having a particular style but in the function that a building serves.

Another of Peter’s architectural philosophy is that buildings should be determined by the space they are being built in and the material they are made from. He considers himself a sculptor and gets inspiration for his buildings from the material he is building from. He has said that architecture is not about a paper of forms but space and material.

Zumthor may be an environmentalist because his works protect the environment as well as their location’s history and culture.

Peter Zumthor chooses projects that interest him rather than those that will bring him the most money. He is more interested in Architecture as a discipline than making a profit. Zumthor is also a reserved and private person, which is why he may not be as famous as he should be considering his ingenuity.

Peter Zumthor: His Architecture and Philosophy
Peter Zumthor: His Architecture and Philosophy

Peter Zumthor’s Awards and Accomplishments

The Thermal Baths at Vals in Graubünden, Switzerland, is Zumthor’s greatest work. The building blends in so well with its environment it seems to disappear into the mountains. Zumthor created this effect by using local stone slabs, concrete, and a glass roof to build the structures. The structure was completed in 1996 and declared a protected heritage site immediately after their completion.

Brother Klaus Field Chapel in Wachendorf, Eifel, Germany it was constructed by creating the building’s frame using wooden logs. Zumthor then set fire to the logs and allowed them to burn for three weeks until they came away from the concrete. To date, the building still has the smell of burnt wood and the impressions of the logs on the walls.

In 2009 the award of Zumthor was the Pritzker Architecture Prize because of his impressive portfolio of works and writings on architecture. The judges praised him for a portfolio of work that sticks uncompromisingly to fundamental architectural disciplines.

Peter Zumthor with the gold medal from the Royal Institute of British Architects in 2013. Cherish by architects as it is not just for one building but for a varied portfolio of work. This was a fitting award for Zumthor is one of this generation’s great architects. His philosophy and buildings will endure for many generations to come.

Subscribe to our monthly Newsletter