Peter Zumthor Therme Vals
Peter Zumthor Therme Vals, the only book-length study of the mountain spa, features the architect’s own original sketches and plans for its design as well as Hélène Binet’s striking photographs.
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3rd printing, 2011
192 pages, 93 color illustrations, sketches and plans, 30 photographs
24 x 30 cm
“The beginning was easy. Going back in time, bathing as one might have a thousand years ago, creating a building, a structure set into the slope with an architectural attitude and aura older than anything already built around it, inventing a building that could somehow always have been there, a building that relates to the topography and geology of the location, that responds to the stone masses of Vals Valley, pressed, faulted, folded and sometimes broken into thousands of plates—these were the objectives of our design.” Peter Zumthor
Born in 1943, famed architect Peter Zumthor studied at the College of Applied Arts in Basel and the Pratt Institute in New York. In 2009, he was awarded the Pritzker Architecture Prize for his life’s work, which includes the Kunsthaus Bregenz, Austria, and Kolumba Art Museum in Cologne, Germany. His Therme Vals, the spa complex built into a Swiss Alp mountainside, became an icon of contemporary architecture soon after its opening in 1996.
Peter Zumthor Therme Vals, the only book-length study of the mountain spa, features the architect’s own original sketches and plans for its design, as well as Hélène Binet’s striking photographs of the structure. Annotations by Zumthor elucidate Therme Vals’s symbiotic relationship to its natural surroundings, and an essay on such topics as Artemis/Diana, Baptism, and Spring by architectural scholar Sigrid Hauser draw out the connections between the elemental nature of the spa and mythology, bathing, and purity. This lavishly illustrated volume about the spa that catapulted a remote Swiss village onto the international architecture scene will entrance all enthusiasts of contemporary design.