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Perhaps best known for their conversion of London’s mammoth Bankside Power Station to the Tate Museum of Modern Art, the architects Herzog and de Meuron are also acclaimed for such recent projects as Prada Tokyo, the upcoming Barcelona Forum Building and the Beijing National Stadium for the Olympic Games. In Napa Valley of California, USA, Herzog and de Meuron designed a winery using a mortarless wall of stones encased in wire mesh. Their skill in revealing unfamiliar or unknown relationships through familiar materials appears throughout all of their projects.
In 1978 Pierre de Meuron and Jacques Herzog established their firm in Basel, Switzerland. The two architects’ careers have run in close parallel, with both attending the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich, Switzerland. Herzog and de Meuron has since grown to include more than 200 architects currently at work on more than 40 projects worldwide.
The architects cite Aldo Rossi and the artist Joseph Beuys as enduring inspirations, and collaborate with different artists on each architectural project. In 2001, Herzog and de Meuron became recipients of the Pritzker Prize, the Nobel of the architectural universe. At the time, the jury chairman commented, “one is hard put to think of any architects in history that have addressed the integument of architecture with greater imagination and virtuosity.” Another jurist, the notable New York Times architectural critic Ada Louise Huxtable added: “They refine the traditions of modernism to elemental simplicity, while transforming materials and surfaces through the exploration of new treatments and techniques.”
Currently they are working on two projects in Miami. One is the new design for Miami Art Museum, and the other is a provocative parking garage and retail complex for Robert Wennett. For the 2006 Puppy Love exhibition and auction at Luminaire, Herzog and de Meuron took a 3D plastic puppy, designed by Eero Aarnio, and designed a happy, yellow home for it that complemented the puppy’s ambiguity between figurativeness and abstraction. ‘Puppy & House’ was then auctioned at Luminaire to raise awareness and funds for cancer research.
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