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Swiss architect Peter Zumthor has been named as the recipient of the Royal Institute of British Architects’ (RIBA) 2013 Royal Gold Medal. He will be presented with the medal on 6 February 2013 at a ceremony in London, which will also see the 2012 RIBA International and Honorary Fellowships presented.
RIBA President Angela Brady, who chaired the Honours Committee that 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.”
After founding his own firm in 1979 in Switzerland, Zumthor completed a number of noteworthy projects including the Kunsthaus Bregenz in Austria, the Therme Vals (thermal baths) in Vals, Switzerland, and the Kolumba Art Museum in Cologne. He is known for his tendency to explore the sensory and tactile elements of spaces and materials and is currently designing a house in Devon for Alain de Botton’s Living Architecture scheme.
Established in 1848, the Royal Gold Medal is given in recognition of a lifetime’s body of work and is approved personally by Her Majesty the Queen. The Medal is awarded annually to a person or group of people whose influence on architecture has had an international effect. Previous winners include Le Corbusier (1953), Frank Gehry (2000), Archigram (2002), Frei Otto (2005), Toyo Ito (2006), Herzog and de Meuron (2007), Edward (Ted) Cullinan (2008), Alvaro Siza (2009), I. M. Pei (2010), Sir David Chipperfield (2011) and Herman Hertzberger (2012).
This year’s RIBA Honours Committee was chaired by RIBA President Angela Brady along with architects Peter Clegg, Yvonne Farrell, Professor Adrian Forty, Niall McLaughlin and Sarah Wigglesworth.