Reclusive Swiss architect wins coveted Pritzker Prize
Apr 13, 2009, 19:59 GMT
San Francisco - Reclusive Swiss architect Peter Zumthor on Sunday won the coveted Pritzker Prize, said to be architecture's equivalent of the Nobel Prize.
Both controversial and idiosyncratic, Zumthor, 65, works quietly in the Swiss village of Haldenstein, but he has designed projects in Germany, Austria, The Netherlands, England, Spain, Norway, Finland and the United States.
'Being awarded the Pritzker Prize is a wonderful recognition of the architectural work we have done in the last 20 years,' Zumthor said.
'That a body of work as small as ours is recognized in the professional world makes us feel proud and should give much hope to young professionals that if they strive for quality in their work it might become visible without any special promotion,' he said in a statement.
Zumthor's most famous work is in Vals, Switzerland - the Thermal Baths, which was singled out for praise by the jury, who also applauded his work on the Kolumba art museum in Cologne as 'a startling contemporary work, but also one that is completely at ease with its many layers of history.'
The prize was created by the Chicago-based Pritzker family who own the Hyatt hotel chain. Hyatt Foundation chairman Thomas Pritzker quoted from the jury citation: 'All of Peter Zumthor's buildings have a strong, timeless presence. He has a rare talent of combining clear and rigorous thought with a truly poetic dimension, resulting in works that never cease to inspire.'
The formal ceremony is to be held on May 29 in Buenos Aires, Argentina, when Zumthor will receive a 100,000-dollar grant and a bronze medallion.