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Peter Zumthor to receive the Royal Gold Medal for architecture

News: Swiss architect Peter Zumthor has today been named as the recipient of this year’s Royal Gold Medal for architecture.

Awarded by the Royal Institute of British Architects, the medal is presented annually to an architect in recognition of a lifetime's work and previous recipients include Herman HertzbergerDavid Chipperfield and I. M. Pei.

Zumthor, who was also awarded the Pritzker Prize in 2009, is best known for designing the Therme Vals thermal baths in Switzerland and the Kunsthaus Bregenz gallery in Switzerland Austria, where he is currently showing an exhibition of his models.

His first project in the UK was the 2011 summer pavilion at the Serpentine Gallery in London and he is currently working on a hill-top retreat in Devon as part of Alain de Botton’s Living Architecture series.

Zumthor will receive the award from the Queen in a ceremony at the Royal Institute of British Architects in London on 6 February 2013.

Hear more from Peter Zumthor in an interview we filmed with him at the opening of the Serpentine Pavilion, or click here to see a selection of his most famous projects.

See all our stories about Peter Zumthor »

Here’s the announcement from the RIBA:

Peter Zumthor to receive the Royal Gold Medal for architecture

The world renowned Swiss architect Peter Zumthor has been named today (Thursday 27 September 2012) as the recipient of one of the world’s most prestigious architecture prizes, the Royal Gold Medal.

Given in recognition of a lifetime’s work, 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”.

Known for running a small yet powerful and uncompromising practice, Peter Zumthor founded his award-winning firm 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.

He is exceptionally talented at creating highly atmospheric spaces through his mastery of light and choice of materials. Zumthor’s 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.

RIBA President Angela Brady, who chaired the Honours Committee which selected the Royal Gold medal winner said,

“Peter Zumthor’s work renews the link with a tradition of modern architecture that emphasises place, community and material practice. His writings dwell upon the experience of designing, building and inhabitation while his buildings are engaged in a rich dialogue with architectural history. I will be delighted to present him with the Royal Gold Medal.”

Peter Zumthor will be presented with the Royal Gold Medal on Wednesday 6 February 2013 at a ceremony at the Royal Institute of British Architects 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.