Following his father’s footsteps an early apprenticeship was in carpentry, before going on to study industrial design and architecture at Pratt University. With a strong appreciation of materiality and sense of place to his work he set up his own practice in 1979.
Although he has built fewer buildings than most of his than his contemporaries, his designs are universally renowned for their spiritual and experiential qualities. One of his first large projects was the Shelters for a Roman Archeological Site (1986), a protective pavilion that still has contemporary relevance today.
His first UK project was the Serpentine Pavilion, 2011, a collaborative project with Dutch garden designer, Piet Oudolf that saw a ‘Room of Contemplation’ constructed in the middle of London’s urban landscape.
Another UK project is planned with the ‘Secular Retreat’ for Living Architecture in Devon, a development that will be available for hire to the public.
The older I get the more I want to be inside the garden – Peter Zumthor.
Closer to home is the much publicized Therme Vals in the Graubunden Canton in Switzerland. Built of locally quarried Valser Quarzite it’s a quietly powerful in it’s sensorial and mystical qualities. Bathers plunge underground into hewn rock, awe inspiring in it’s simplicity and stillness.
Other positions include teaching posts at German and American universities and several books including Thinking Architecture and Atmospheres.