Published online by Cambridge University Press: 26 September 2001
Wishing to write about his work, I approached Peter Zumthor in
February 1996. We agreed to do something substantial but still
accessible, and eventually settled on the format of a long interview.
We then chose three of his buildings that would raise different issues
– the now famous Thermal Baths in Vals, the Wohnsiedlung
Spittelhof and Topography of Terror in Berlin.
The interviews were held in English on 22 July 1997 over the course of the day in his studio in Haldenstein. They are published in the order in which they were held. We edited them together in August 2000, resisting the desire to amend them.
I first learnt of his work in 1988 when he was a visiting professor at the Southern California Institute of Architecture in Santa Monica where he first delivered the lecture later published as ‘A Way of Looking at Things’. I would like to thank him for agreeing to share his thoughts on architecture, and for the often difficult and unfashionable reminder that to do things well takes time.