Peter Zumthor Therme Vals

Overview

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 ...

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Overview

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.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9783858817044
  • Publisher: Verlag Scheidegger and Spiess
  • Publication date: 3/15/2007
  • Pages: 192
  • Product dimensions: 9.50 (w) x 12.00 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

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).

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Table of Contents

Photographs I
Vals 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 Caverns
Photographs 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 Construction
Photographs III
    Laconicum
    Mikvah
    Spring
    Cleaning
    The Building Materials
    Resources
    Black Powder
    Sweat Stone
    Spa
    Dam
    Baptism
    Thermal Bath
    Drinking Stone
Photographs IV
    Valser
    Compound Masonry
    Vitruvius
    Historical Background
    Pilgrimage
    Water Treatment
    Cultic Water Site
    Access
    Reality
Photographs V

Appendix

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