Architect spotlight: Zumthor, a legend

A project by Peter Zumthor Architect spotlight: Zumthor, a legend Architect spotlight: Zumthor, a legend P1020033 e1352301157292

Last September, one of our architecture icons was recognized by RIBA (Royal Institute of British Architects) as the recipient of the 2013 Royal Gold Medal for Architecture. He is not British but lives and works in Europe, more exactly in Switzerland – Peter Zumthor, the 2009 Pritzker Laureate.

Today we will focus in one of our favorite projects from the man that says : “I work a little bit like a sculptor. When I start, my first idea for a building is with the material. I believe architecture is about that. It’s not about paper, it’s not about forms. It’s about space and material.” – The Therme Vals.

A project by Peter Zumthor Architect spotlight: Zumthor, a legend Architect spotlight: Zumthor, a legend termas e1352301306299

In 1996 opened the unique spa/baths -Therme Vals – designed by Zumthor. Located in the Graubunden Canton in Switzerland, this work combines a complete sensory experience.
The stone became the driving inspiration for the design, and is used with great dignity and respect. The building was built layer upon layer of quartzite slabs where the idea was to create a form of cave. The bath rooms lay below a grass roof structure half buried into the hillside to integrate the building in the natural surroundings.

A project by Peter Zumthor Architect spotlight: Zumthor, a legend Architect spotlight: Zumthor, a legend 1324316043 therme vals     courtesy of marco masetti e1352301375515

“Mountain, stone, water – building in the stone, building with the stone, into the mountain, building out of the mountain, being inside the mountain – how can the implications and the sensuality of the association of these words be interpreted, architecturally?” Peter Zumthor

A project by Peter Zumthor Architect spotlight: Zumthor, a legend Architect spotlight: Zumthor, a legend 1324316023 1721170689 outdoor pool2 e1352301441840

In the Therme Vals we can rediscovered the ancient benefits of bathing and we can have a highly sensuous experience through the combinations of light and shade, open and enclosed spaces and linear elements.

A project by Peter Zumpthor Architect spotlight: Zumthor, a legend Architect spotlight: Zumthor, a legend 1106348761 inside e1352301493696

A project by Peter Zumthor  Architect spotlight: Zumthor, a legend Architect spotlight: Zumthor, a legend Therme Vals 6 e1352301564216

“The meander, as we call it, is a designed negative space between the blocks, a space that connects everything as it flows throughout the entire building, creating a peacefully pulsating rhythm. Moving around this space means making discoveries. You are walking as if in the woods. Everyone there is looking for a path of their own.” Peter Zumthor

A project by Peter Zumthor Architect spotlight: Zumthor, a legend Architect spotlight: Zumthor, a legend 1324316578 186781154 hot bath copy 750x1000 e1352301634483

This is a fascinating piece of architecture where you can feel the mystic qualities of the stone within the mountain, a feeling of warm stones and naked skin, the ancient ritual of bathing.

A project by Peter Zumthor Architect spotlight: Zumthor, a legend Architect spotlight: Zumthor, a legend worldradio

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