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    Who is Peter Zumthor?

    by Michael J. Crosbie

    In April, about two weeks before his 66th birthday, Swiss architect Peter Zumthor was named the 2009 laureate of the Pritzker Architecture Prize. Zumthor is not a household name, as many other Pritzker winners have been — architects such as Gehry, Meier, and Pei. Even many architects haven't heard of him.

    But Zumthor has been described as an "architect's architect." His works are not numerous, given a practice of over 30 years, but each one is carefully crafted, materially exquisite, and atmospherically evocative.

    Known as the "Nobel Prize of Architecture," the Pritzker Prize has gained a reputation of anointing architects who are already stars with high public profiles. But the Pritzker jury has on occasion selected architects who are less known outside architectural circles — practitioners such as Paulo Mendes da Rocha of Brazil and Jean Nouvel of France.   >>>

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    Peter Zumthor designed the Therme Vals spa in Vals, Switzerland.
    Photo: Hélène Binet Extra Large Image

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    The 2009 Pritzker Prize was awarded to Swiss architect Peter Zumthor.
    Photo: Gary Ebner Extra Large Image

     

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