Collection by Tiffany Chu

A Pilgrimage to Zumthor's Chapel


I recently made a Peter Zumthor pilgrimage to Switzerland, where many of his seminal works sit within a 40 mile radius one another in the northeastern part of the country. An architectural journey surely not for the faint of heart, it took a day's harrowing drive through the northern Alps with steep cliffs and crazy European drivers, but in the end, it was well worth it.

My first stop was Zumthor's celebrated St. Benedict Chapel in the snug village of Sumvitg.
Unassuming, yet exceedingly elegant, the chapel is very petite next to the neighboring houses (and the Alps in the...
The color gradient in the cladding is quite beautiful - much of the bottom has lost a good portion of its original wood...
The door was an extremely interesting element, from the long vertical slats to the metal door handle that felt just...
Its unconventional fish-like shape and signature wooden ceiling backbone with fins create a symmetrical, anchoring...
Here is the perspective from behind the altar.
Before Zumthor was an architect, he was a carpenter, and his father was actually a cabinet maker.
A view of the surrounding mountains, after a pebbly uphill path to the chapel.
"In 1984 an avalanche destroyed the baroque chapel in front of the village of Sogn Benedetg (St. Benedict).
The chapel is continually open, and is accessible by both public transport and car.
For an experiential visit (from the comfort of your chair), you can also watch this video of the journey up to and...