You might be surprised to learn that I am not on a first name basis with Peter Zumthor. Everything that I know about myself tells me that he and I would enjoy each others company … at least I would, and that’s 87% of the reason he and I should be hanging out. Interestingly enough, when I find some downtime and I want to randomly search the internet, I start with Peter Zumthor. Most recently, I stumbled upon an article that I enjoyed quite a bit and it ended with a quote that cemented my logic for why he and I should be internet best friends.
The article I read was on Peter Zumthor and his Zinc Mine Museum Project in Norway, and I found it in the digital version of Icon magazine. In this article, Zumthor discusses the project and addresses the numerous delays – some of which can be attributed to Zumthor’s legendary perfectionism. What I really enjoyed was the final two paragraphs that explained Zumthor’s take on the sometimes timely process of creating architecture in a methodical and exacting method.
I don’t want to be slow,” Zumthor explains of his uncompromising method, taking a sip of his cappuccino. “I’m a fast thinker, and I don’t want it to take more time than it takes. But sometimes it takes a while to develop something, you have to make samples and mock-ups, sometimes it takes time to find out what the building really wants to be. I imagine my buildings so completely, I unconsciously live in them. And all of a sudden I feel, hey shit, something’s wrong.
“There’s this corner that doesn’t work or whatever. That’s the artistic process. It’s grounded to artists, and it should also be grounded to architects who work like building artists. This is not slowness, this is just working like an architect-artist. This is how I need to work and I need a client who understands it, and wants it, and knows that this can get on your nerves sometimes.”
“The finished building,” he adds, with a chuckle, “is your best argument.”
How can you not love that? Despite the process taking a long time, which can quite honestly get on everybody’s nerves, his response is “The finished building is your best argument.”
… that’s going to be my new motto.
For the entire article, head over to Icon