Okay, so I may have looked like something of a stalker, skulking around the tiny Swiss town of Haidenstein, but the off-chance of locating the Atelier of my idol, Peter Zumthor, was worth any potential embarrassment. After scouring the village and nearly giving up, I caught a glimpse of beautifully finished, off-form concrete and a lovely roof/wall glazing junction sitting delicately between the clustered vernacular buildings. Like the man and his work, the studio is modest and quiet – yet unmistakable in its sense of presence.
Human in scale, modest in gesture, comfortable whilst side-stepping ‘cosy’, the Atelier is the summit of the Zumthor aesthetic. Underscoring this apparent simplicity, though, is an intensely rational sophistication.