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Peter Zumthor Therme Vals

by Peter Zumthor Scheidegger & Spiess
Pub Date:
Hbk 192 pages
AU$219.00 NZ$225.22
Product Status: In Stock Now
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Therme Vals, the spa complex built in the Swiss Alps by celebrated architect Peter Zumthor, became an icon of contemporary architecture soon after its opening in 1996. Inspired by the spa’s majestic surroundings, Zumthor built the structure on the sharp grade of an Alpine mountain slope with grass-topped roofs to mimic Swiss meadows, captured here in a series of sumptuous images. Peter Zumthor Therme Vals, the only book-length study of this singular building, features the architect’s own original sketches and plans for its design as well as Hélène Binet’s striking photographs of the structure. Architectural scholar Sigrid Hauser contributes an essay on such topics as “Artemis/Diana,” “Baptism,” “Mikvah,” and “Spring”—drawing out the connections between the elemental nature of the spa and mythology, bathing, and purity.

Annotations by Peter Zumthor on his design concept and the building process elucidate the structure’s symbiotic relationship to its natural surroundings, revealing, for example, why he insisted on using locally quarried stone. Therme Vals’s scenic design elements, and Zumthor’s contributions to this book, reflect the architect’s commitment to the essential and his disdain for needless architectural flourishes. 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.

Peter Zumthor is the winner of the Pritzker Prize, which will be awarded in Buenos Aires on May 29th, 2009.

Photographs IVals and the History of the Bath    Alphabet    Artemis-Diana    Asclepius    First Images    Augen Gneiss    Outdoor Pool    Structure    Expansion Joints    Flower Bath    Entrance    Block Studies    The Section Grows: Stone Tables and CavernsPhotographs II    Design    Fire Bath    The Floor Plan Grows: Geometries    The Joints    Grass Roof    Therapeutic Bath    Hypocausts    Indoor Pool    Ice Bath    The Floor Plan Grows: The Meander    The Bathing    Sound Bath    Sounding Stone    Construction    The ConstructionPhotographs III    Laconicum    Mikvah    Spring    Cleaning    The Building Materials    Resources    Black Powder    Sweat Stone    Spa    Dam    Baptism    Thermal Bath    Drinking StonePhotographs IV    Valser    Compound Masonry    Vitruvius    Historical Background    Pilgrimage    Water Treatment    Cultic Water Site    Access    RealityPhotographs VAppendix

Peter Zumthor is one of Switzerland's foremost contemporary architects; he is also an architectural theorist and teacher. His built work includes the St. Benedict Chapel (Sumvitg, Switzerland), the Kunsthaus Bregenz (Austria), the Swiss Sound Box (EXPO 2000, Hannover, Germany), and the Kolumba Art Museum (Cologne, Germany).