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Peter Zumthor Wins 2009 Pritzker

Today Swiss architect Peter Zumthor was named the winner of the 2009 Pritzker Prize. The 33rd person to win architecture's top honor, Zumthor, who has built little and eschews the spotlight, is a break from recent, more high profile laureates like Jean Nouvel and Zaha Hadid.

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Instead of courting big commissions and their attendant spotlight, Zumthor, who resides in the small Alpine town of Haldenstein, Switzerland, only accepts work with which he feels an affinity. The building he’s most commonly associated with is the spa at Hotel Thermae in Vals, Switzerland, an essay in tranquil austerity. Check out this three-part documentary on the spa, complete with an interview with the often reclusive architect: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3. The photo above is of Zumthor’s 2007 Brother Claus Field Chapel in Mechernich, Germany, near Cologne. For a slideshow of more Zumthor’s work visit this fine one at the New York Times.

Photo credit: Florian Seffert (F*)’s Flickr photostream.
 

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