swiss architect peter zumthor has been announced as the winner of the 2009 pritzker architecture prize. the architecture world’s most prestigious prize is awarded annually to honor living architects whose work demonstrates a significant contribution to the art of the practice. zumthor began working as a cabinetmaker and is now 65 years old. he will be presented with a 100,000 USD grant and a bronze medallion at a ceremony on may 29 in buenos aires, argentina.

peter zumthor wins 2009 pritzker architecture prize
peter zumthor | image © gerry ebner

 

 

unlike many past winners of the pritzker architecture prize, zumthor is quite removed from the contemporary architecture scene, working from his studio in the alpine town of haldenstein. modest buildings that demonstrate empathy for vernacular culture and landscape characterize his body of work. some of his notable projects include the field chapel in eifel, germany, kolumba art museum of the cologne archdiocese, the swiss pavilion for 2000 expo and the thermal baths in vals, switzerland. the pritzker prize jury described his work as ‘an architecture of permanence’.

peter zumthor kolumba museum
kolumba museum in cologne | image © rasmus hjortshøj – COAST (also main image)

peter zumthor celebrates his 70th birthday
st. benedict’s chapel (1988), sumvitig | image © saeed amman

peter zumthor celebrates his 70th birthday
‘steilneset witch trial memorial’ was a collaboration with sculptor louise bourgeois
image © helene binet 2009 | image courtesy gabrielle ammann gallery

peter zumthor wins 2009 pritzker architecture prize
therme vals | image by sanchrts at english wikipedia, CC BY-SA 3.0