Peter Zumthor

I had the honour of presenting Peter Zumthor with his Certificate as an Honorary Royal Academician over lunch in Basel.   There was a bad moment when we thought he might not arrive as he is reputed to be reclusive, living and working in a village up in the mountains, where contractors from Los Angeles make their way to do their presentations.   But he was born in Basel, trained at the Kunstgewerbeschule, and is currently drawing up detailed designs for a trio of new buildings for the Beyeler Museum.   Other people having lunch may have been baffled by the presentation of the red barrel containing the Certificate, as perhaps was he, but it felt good that he should now more formally be an Honorary RA, which he has been since 2014.

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