Peter Zumthor’s Most Famous Buildings in Switzerland

From his most famous to his most personal building, this article covers 5 of the most inspiring works of Peter Zumthor in his homeland, Switzerland.
Photo Credit: 7132 Hotel

1. Therme Vals, Vals

(7132, Vals, Graubünden) Built in 1996, this is without a doubt his most notable work. Clean lines, noble materials, and a deep sense of calmness make this place the perfect retreat to be alone with your thoughts – even if you’re not into spas!

Top tip: Round off the experience with a stay at the fabulous 7132 Hotel and sleep in one of the rooms designed by the architect himself!

More information about 7132 Hotel

2. Saint Benedict Chapel, Sumvitg

(Vitg 221, 7174 Sumvitg, Graubünden) At first sight, this 1986 quaint little chapel may not seem like much – in fact you can almost miss it as it has been harmonically built in the scenery – but as you get closer, you will notice how the sunlight changes the wooden façade from dark tonalities to silvery ones. Once inside, take a look up to the ceiling and you will have the sense of being inside a moving boat thanks to the unique geometrical and three-dimensional shape of the building.

Top tip: The chapel is located on a steep slope but it can be reached by car. However, please note that the road that goes past the church is a mountain road with gravel.

3. Shelters for Roman Archaeological Site, Chur

(Seilerbahnweg 17, 7000 Chur, Graubünden) When you first set eyes on these timber lamella pavilions, you won’t believe that they were built back in 1986! Their design is strikingly contemporary and a huge contrast to the valuable Roman remains they protect.

Top tip: If you want to visit the interior, you can request the key for a deposit at the Chur Tourism office or join one of the tours offered by the Graubünden Archaeological Service.

More information about the Graubünden Archaeological Service

4. Residential Home for the Elderly, Masans

(Cadonaustrasse 71-75, 7000 Chur, Graubünden) Located in Masans, this modern 22 flat complex is part of the CADONAU – Das Seniorzentrum and gives senior citizens from nearby mountain villages the chance to be well looked after without giving up their freedom or love for nature. Built in 1993, the minimalist design combines different types of wood with tufa, floor- to-ceiling windows and south-facing sheltered balconies; all to help bring nature indoors.

Top tip: Unfortunately, the building’s interior is not open to the public.

Photo Credit: Ralph Feiner

5. The Timber Houses, Leis

These beautiful holiday homes are perhaps the most personal work of Peter Zumthor since the first one, Oberhus, is his wife Annalisa’s dream house – and she still lives there. Made of noble timber and with amazing views, the two chalet rentals offer both warmth and a respite from modern day life.

Top tip: Hike all the way from Therme Vals – the hamlet is 45 minutes away – and reward yourself with the delicious soup of the day at the charming restaurant located near the houses.

Contact us for more information about The Timber Houses

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