Swiss Mountain Man Wins Pritzker

Perhaps solitude actually does stimulate the creative mind. Lauded a “consummate craftsman” for his work, relative unknown 65-year-old Peter Zumthor will receive the architect’s equivalent of the Nobel Prize on Monday. For the past 30 years, Zumthor’s been living in a remote Swiss village carefully choosing his projects. Writes the Pritzker jury: “He develops buildings of great integrity—untouched by fad or fashion. Declining a majority of the commissions that come his way, he only accepts a project if he feels a deep affinity for its program, and from the moment of commitment, his devotion is complete, overseeing the project’s realization to the very last detail.” Zumthor’s most famous project, a thermal spa of quartzite slabs nestled in an Alpine commune in Switzerland, was a “contemporary take on the baths of antiquity,” writes The New York Times. The Pritzker, which consists of a $100,000 grant and bronze medallion, will be awarded on May 29 in Buenos Aires.