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Zumthor: 'He exists almost beyond the time and space architects practice in'

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The AJ’s readers tell us what they think about Peter Zumthor being chosen for the RIBA’s Royal Gold Medal 2013

Patrick Lynch, Lynch Architects
‘Zumthor designed an apartment building for old people in the city of Chur which shows he’s not just a romantic poet but also a profoundly humanistic architect. An extra wide corridor acts as a sort of internal street, which is inhabited by umbrella stands and knick-knacks; a semi-public territory. The architecture sets up playfulness without mimicking it. In this project I learnt the limit and depth of an architect’s tasks in ordinary buildings. In the chapels something else is at play within a perfectly calibrated and working situation. Something else that is hard to define in strictly architectural language.’

Alain de Botton, philosopher
‘I’m working with Zumthor on Living Architecture’s Secular Retreat. We’ll go on site in February 2013. He’s a superlative architect who takes immense care over every detail. Working with him, you can see that good architecture primarily comes from thinking a lot, far more than one might imagine, over every single choice.

You have to be patient but patience is rewarded in spades

You have to be patient but patience is rewarded in spades. The RIBA medal is very deserved, and yet more encouraging is that in this hurried world, the architecture profession can still appreciate and reward talent that knows how to take its time.’

Neil Gillespie, Reiach and Hall
‘Zumthor exists almost beyond the time and space that virtually all architects now practice in. His work touches a deep chord, reminding us what an architecture that is about people and space might be like. I’m delighted that the RIBA has awarded him its highest honour.’

Alex Ely, mae architects
‘I’ve always admired Zumthor’s work for its strength of concept, clarity of thought, and rigour of craftsmanship and detail, I went on a pilgrimage to see many of his projects as a student and continue to be inspired by him today.’

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