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Peter Zumthor of Switzerland becomes the 2009 Pritzker Architecture Prize Laureate
April 13, 2009
Peter Zumthor of Switzerland has been chosen as the 2009 Laureate of the Pritzker Architecture Prize. The formal ceremony for what has come to be known throughout the world as architecture’s highest honor will be held on May 29 in Buenos Aires, Argentina. At that time, a $100,000 grant and a bronze medallion will be bestowed on the 65-year old architect.
Although most of his work is in Switzerland, he has designed projects in Germany, Austria, The Netherlands, England, Spain, Norway, Finland and the United States. His most famous work is in Vals, Switzerland — the Thermal Baths, which has been referred to by the press as “his masterpiece.” Most recently critics have praised his Field Chapel to Saint Nikolaus von der Flüe near Cologne, Germany. The jury singled out not only those buildings, but also the Kolumba Museum in Cologne, calling the latter “a startling contemporary work, but also one that is completely at ease with its many layers of history.”
In announcing the jury’s choice, Thomas J. Pritzker, chairman of The Hyatt Foundation, quoted from the jury citation, “Peter Zumthor is a master architect admired by his colleagues around the world for work that is focused, uncompromising and exceptionally determined.” And he added, “All of Peter Zumthor’s buildings have a strong, timeless presence. He has a rare talent of combining clear and rigorous thought with a truly poetic dimension, resulting in works that never cease to inspire.”

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