Swiss architect Peter Zumthor has been named the recipient of one of the world’s most prestigious architecture prizes, the Royal Gold Medal.
Given in recognition of a lifetime’s work and awarded annually since 1848 by the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA), the Royal Gold Medal is approved personally by Her Majesty the Queen and is given to a person or group of people who have had a significant influence “either directly or indirectly on the advancement of architecture”.
Peter Zumthor founded his award-winning architecture practice in 1979 in Switzerland. His most celebrated projects include the Kunsthaus Bregenz in Austria, the Therme Vals (thermal baths) in Vals, Switzerland, and the Kolumba Art Museum in Cologne. He designed London’s 2011 Serpentine Pavilion and is currently designing a house in Devon for philosopher Alain de Botton’s Living Architecture architect-designed holiday home scheme.
Zumthor is known for creating highly atmospheric spaces through his mastery of light and choice of materials. His buildings, such as his small rural chapels and the Thermal Baths at Vals, are an experience for all the senses, with every detail reinforcing the essence of the building and its surroundings.
Peter Zumthor will be presented with the Royal Gold Medal on Wednesday 6 February 2013 at a ceremony at the RIBA in London, during which the 2013 RIBA International and Honorary Fellowships will also be presented.
This year’s RIBA Honours Committee was chaired by RIBA President Angela Brady with architects Peter Clegg, Yvonne Farrell, Professor Adrian Forty, Niall McLaughlin and Sarah Wigglesworth.