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Reclusive Swiss Architect Peter Zumthor Wins Pritzker Prize

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Last year's Pritzker Prize, architecture's lifetime achievement award (but you don't have to be dying to get it), went to French starchitect Jean Nouvel, but this year's recipient is far less splashy?in fact, according to the Times, he's not even a starchitect. The winner is Peter Zumthor, a 65-year-old Swiss party animal whose best-known creation is a spa built in a remote Alpine village (above; see the gallery for more of Zumthor's work). Zumthor is picky with his projects and hasn't designed much, a quality commended by the jury. The win means this is a Pritzker for serious times, Bloomberg's James Russell writes: "The jury for the $100,000 award, the most prestigious in architecture, took the temperature of the times and concluded that this was not the year to focus on showy bravura." The hermit-like Zumthor spent a year at Pratt in the '60s but hasn't sniffed out any U.S. commissions over his career, which makes us wonder: Clinton Hill, what the hell did you do to the poor guy?
· Pritzker Prize Goes to Peter Zumthor [NYT]
· Swiss Hermit Zumthor Wins $100,000 Pritzker Prize: Commentary [Bloomberg]