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Zumthor designs Devon house

Pritzker laureate’s first UK project to be made available to the public

Peter Zumthor, the newly announced 2009 Pritzker Prize winner, is working on his first UK project.

The 65-year-old Swiss architect has designed a modernist building in stone and glass near the village of Chivelstone in Devon.

The building will be part of a new initiative, called Living Architecture, to create pieces of modern architecture that are available to the general public.

Planning approval for Zumthor’s design is expected to be received in May. Other firms involved in the Living Architecture project include:Nord for a building in Kent, Netherlands-based MVRDV and Norway’s JVA for two houses in Suffolk, and Hopkins Architects for a site in Norfolk.

Living Architecture is a commercial venture that will operate in a similar way to the Landmark Trust, letting properties for corporate functions or short stays. A source close to the project said: ‘It is about granting people access to modern architecture.’

All the practices contacted by AJ declined to comment on the project. However, a spokesperson for Living Architecture said: ‘We are likely to launch the project by the end of the month.’

Interest in Zumthor’s first UK scheme has intensified after it was announced earlier this week that he is the latest recipient of the prestigious Pritzker Prize.

Zumthor’s Pritzker citation reads: ‘His buildings have a commanding presence, yet they prove the power of judicious intervention, showing us again and again that modesty in approach and boldness in overall are not mutually exclusive.’

Adam Caruso of Caruso St John led the plaudits for Zumthor. ‘I think he’s done a limited number of fantastic projects, and nowadays, where everything is about quantity and spreading thinly, he has resisted that, and made buildings of enormous power.’

Readers' comments (1)

  • 'It is about granting people access to modern architecture'... First what a bizarre statement and second I would ask 'exactly how much do we people have to pay Living Architecture to gain access to these pieces of modern architecture?'

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