Peter Zumthor was born on April 26, 1943, as the son of a cabinet maker in Basel, Switzerland. After finishing his carpentry apprenticeship from 1958 to 1962, he then proceeded to study design at Pratt Institute in New York from 1963 to 1967. In 1967, he became an architect for the Department for the Preservation of Monuments in Canton of Graubünden, Switzerland. In 1979, he established his atelier based in Haldenstein, Switzerland, where he has been practicing architecture ever since.
He has been a professor at the Academy of Architecture, Universitá della Svizzera Italiana in Mendrisio since 1996. He has also taught as a visiting professor at the Southern California Institute of Architecture in Los Angeles, Technical University of Munich, and Harvard Graduate School of Design.
His many awards include the Pritzker Architecture Prize in 2009, the Carlsberg Architecture Prize (Denmark) in 1998, and the Mies van der Rohe Award in 1999. In 2006, he received the Praemium Imperiale from the Japan Art Association. In 2013, the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) honored his significant influence on the advancement of architecture and awarded him the Royal Gold Medal.
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