Is Peter Zumthor designing something for Los Angeles?


    During my interview with Peter Zumthor, who received this year's Pritzker Architecture Prize, I asked him if he has any plans to build in the United States. He answered,
    "I’m on it. I’m on it. Los Angeles, you will hear from that."
    I followed up and got this response today:
    "It's a bit too early to talk about it."
    Sounds to me like something's cooking. Where? What? Public? Private?

    ---

    A Zumthor in Los Angeles?

    When I think of Zumthor, I think "spiritual" and "timeless." Would you describe L.A. that way?

    Talking with a friend in New York today about the possibility of having a Zumthor here, she said,
    LA as timeless and spiritual...let’s see...um...no. my description: the largest funny farm in the world without a fence – a fun place to be for a week or so, then it’s so nice to get home.

    I find L.A. can be spiritual. Nature and heaven abound here, spirit has room to play.

    But "timeless?" Not usually, no. L.A. we know tends to be trendy.

    But then, for example, you stand in the gardens of the Getty Villa in Malibu, as redone by Machado and Silvetti. Look out past the cypresses at the white mist between the blue sky and the equally blue Pacific with the waves rolling in and you feel it's some time, don't know when, between 79 CE and now.


    The smell of rosemary lingering from the garden helps to unmoor your brain and take you on an ancient journey. Scent at the Getty Villa, recalls the work of Peter Zumthor. His work engages all the senses. The pools at the Getty and the changing textures of the horizontal bands of stone, mixed in with the stark modernist walls at the entrance recall Zumthor's Thermal Baths at Vals, Switzerland. The Getty Villa fits in this rather "Mediterranean" city, and so could a piece by Zumthor.

    The Getty Villa, Malibu

    Zumthor's Thermal Baths, Vals, Switzerland


    L.A. has a traditional connection to German and Austrian art, from Bertolt Brecht to Arnold Schoenberg to Richard Neutra, and many more. L.A. is everything. It probably already has Swiss German art too. And if it hasn't, Peter Zumthor will start a tradition.

    Zumthor's work is about atmosphere. L.A. has more of that than any other city I know.

    I look forward to hearing, smelling, tasting, seeing and finally, touching whatever Mr. Zumthor plans for this great city; a place he knows. Peter Zumthor taught in Los Angeles, at SCI-Arc in 1988.

    I wonder who is his client? That will make all the difference in the world. But as we said in our NPR story, Peter Zumthor declines commissions for which he has no affinity.

    .
    Zumthor photo by Gary Ebner
    .Source URL: http://ecleticsergio.blogspot.com/2009/04/is-peter-zumthor-designing-something.html
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