Interviewed in Haldenstein, 23 September 2011
We come from nature and we return to nature... I see a great cycle and I am part of it. I did not exist before my time and I will no longer exist after my time. But in my time, I belong to the process of life on this planet; for a little while I am part of the organism of human beings, animals and plants that exist on this planet and that passes life on.
Peter Zumthor, Hortus Conclusus, 2011.
In the same manner he contemplates life Peter Zumthor contemplates his work because for him, it is one and the same. Empathy in relation to places, people, environment, history is contained in the essence of his ‘customized’ masterpieces, as their author says himself. Even as a boy, he was introduced to the culture of creating worthy and durable things.
ORIS: I would like to remind you of terms mentioned in your text in the book Häuser from 1997. You listed terms like place, material, presence, remembering, memory, image, atmosphere, density, concentration, duration as important for your work. Today, after fourteen years, these terms have the same sparkle and meaning they possessed in the past.
Zumthor: I agree. Nevertheless, I think over and again from the position of a new time. Life changes and thinking as well. I do not think that the terms mentioned are wrong, but I can always provide merely concrete answers, not abstract ones, always in a concrete context.