Peter Zumthor was born on April 26, 1943, the son of a cabinet maker, Oscar Zumthor, in Basel, Switzerland. He trained as a cabinet maker from 1958 to 1962. From 1963-67, he studied at the Kunstgewerbeschule, Vorkurs and Fachklasse with further studies in design at Pratt Institute in New York.
In 1967, he was employed by the Canton of Graubünden (Switzerland) in the Department for the Preservation of Monuments working as a building and planning consultant and architectural analyst of historical villages, in addition to realizing some restorations. He established his own practice in 1979 in Haldenstein, Switzerland where he still works with a small staff of fifteen. Zumthor is married to Annalisa Zumthor-Cuorad. They have three children, all adults, Anna Katharina, Peter Conradin, and Jon Paulin, and two grandchildren.
Since 1996, he has been a professor at the Academy of Architecture, Universitá della Svizzera Italiana, Mendrisio. He has also been a visiting professor at the University of Southern California Institute of Architecture and SCI-ARC in Los Angeles in 1988; at the Technische Universität, Munich in 1989; and at the Graduate School of Design, Harvard University in 1999.
His many awards include the Praemium Imperiale from the Japan Art Association in 2008 as well as the Carlsberg Architecture Prize in Denmark in 1998, and the Mies van der Rohe Award for European Architecture in 1999. In 2006, he received the Thomas Jefferson Foundation Medal in Architecture from the University of Virginia. The American Academy of Arts and Letters bestowed the Arnold W. Brunner Memorial Prize in Architecture in 2008.
In the recent book published by Barrons Educational Series, Inc. titled, Architectura, Elements of Architectural Style, with the distinguished architectural historian from Australia, Professor Miles Lewis, as general editor, the Zumthor’s Thermal Bath building at Vals is described as “a superb example of simple detailing that is used to create highly atmospheric spaces. The design contrasts cool, gray stone walls with the warmth of bronze railings, and light and water are employed to sculpt the spaces. The horizontal joints of the stonework mimic the horizontal lines of the water, and there is a subtle change in the texture of the stone at the waterline. Skylights inserted into narrow slots in the ceiling create a dramatic line of light that accentuates the fluidity of the water. Every detail of the building thus reinforces the importance of the bath on a variety of levels.”
In the book titled Thinking Architecture, first published by Birkhauser in 1998, Zumthor set down in his own words a philosophy of architecture. One sample of his thoughts is as follows: “I believe that architecture today needs to reflect on the tasks and possibilities which are inherently its own. Architecture is not a vehicle or a symbol for things that do not belong to its essence. In a society that celebrates the inessential, architecture can put up a resistance, counteract the waste of forms and meanings, and speak its own language. I believe that the language of architecture is not a question of a specific style. Every building is built for a specific use in a specific place and for a specific society. My buildings try to answer the questions that emerge from these simple facts as precisely and critically as they can.”
Kengo Kuma was born in Yokohama (Kanagawa, Japan) in 1954. He studied architecture at the University of Tokyo, finishing his degree in 1979. In 1987, he opened the "Spatial Design Studio". In 1990 he founded "Kengo Kuma & Associates" and extend the study to Europe (Paris, France) in 2008. Since 1985 and until 2009, has taught as visiting professor and holder at the universities of Columbia, Keio, Illinois and Tokyo.
· 2011 The Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology's Art Encouragement Prize for "Yusuhara Wooden Bridge Museum."
· 2010 Mainichi Art Award for “Nezu Museum.”
· 2009 "Decoration Officier de L'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres" (France).
· 2008 Energy Performance + Architecture Award (France). Bois Magazine International Wood Architecture Award (France).
· 2002 Spirit of Nature Wood Architecture Award (Finland).
· 2001 Togo Murano Award for “Nakagawa-machi Bato Hiroshige Museum.”
· 1997 Architectural Institute of Japan Award for “Noh Stage in the Forest”. First Place, AIA DuPONT Benedictus Award for “Water/Glass” (USA).
José Juan Barba (1964) graduated from ETSA Madrid in 1991. Special Mention in the National Finishing University Education Awards 1991. PhD in Architecture ETSAM, 2004. He founded his professional practice in Madrid in 1992 (www.josejuanbarba.com), he is architecture critic and editor-in–chief of METALOCUS magazine since 1999, he was advising different NGOs until 1997. He has been a lecturer (in Design, Theory and Criticism, and Urban planning) and guest lecturer at different national and international universities (Roma TRE, Polytechnic Milan, ETSA Madrid, ETSA Barcelona, UNAM Mexico, Univ. Iberoamericana Mexico, University of Thessaly Volos, FA de Montevideo, Washington, Medellin, IE School, U.Alicante, Univ. Europea Madrid, UCJC Madrid, ESARQ-U.I.C. Barcelona,...).
Maître de Conférences IUG-UPMF Grenoble 2013-14. Full assistant Professor, since 2003 up to now at the University of Alcalá School of Architecture, Madrid, Spain. And Jury in competitions as Quaderns editorial magazine (2011), Mies van der Rohe Awards, (2010-2019), Europan13 (2015). He has been invited to participate in the Biennale di Venezia 2016 as part "Spaces of Exception / Spazi d'Eccezione".
He has published several books, the last in 2016, "#positions" and in 2015 "Inventions: New York vs. Rem Koolhaas, Bernard Tschumi, Piranesi " and collaborations on "Spaces of Exception / Spazi d'Eccezione", "La Mansana de la discordia" (2015), "Arquitectura Contemporánea de Japón: Nuevos territorios" (2015)...
- Award. RENOVATION OF SEGURA RIVER ENVIRONMENT, Murcia, Sapin, 2010.
- First Prize, RENOVATION GRAN VÍA, “Delirious Gran Vía”, Madrid, Spain, 2010.
- First Prize, “PANAYIOTI MIXELI Award”. SADAS-PEA, for the Spreading of Knowledge of Architecture Athens, 2005.
- First Prize, “SANTIAGO AMÓN Award," for the Spreading of Knowledge of Architecture. 2000.
- Award, “PIERRE VAGO Award." ICAC -International committee of Art Critics. London, 2005.
- First Prize, C.O.A.M. Madrid, 2000. Shortlisted, World Architecture Festival. Centro de Investigación e Interpretación de los Ríos. Tera, Esla y Orbigo, Barcelona, 2008.
- First Prize. FAD AWARD 07 Ephemeral Interventions. “M.C.ESCHER”. Arquin-Fad. Barcelona, Sapin 2007.