Recipients 1996


Schelling Architecture Prize 1996
Peter Zumthor

“Architecture as the concentration on the kernel of the task and on the character of material is his program.”

In courageous opposition to a world full of borrowed or falsified conventions, Peter Zumthor’s work places the “real” things at the centre. Materials, building techniques and spaces once again become what they used to be; albeit not with an uncritical (and consequently anachronistic) recourse to the past, but, on the contrary, by means of placing them into a new semantic context. Zunthor’s thoroughly independent attitude withstands rational examination, at the same time opening a multivalent, poetic universe, which leads anyone, who is willing to become engaged with it, to an existential reflection. Vittorio Magnago Lampugnani

Schelling Architectural Theory Prize 1996
Nikolaus Kuhnert

“Active thinking and the formation of an independent mind are the passions of this engaged publicist.”

The era, in which architecture was the most important field of experimentation in terms of new artistic and scientific ideas, has long passed. Today, architecture generally reacts to innovations in the field of economy, technology and society. The architectural journal Arch+ is one of the few magazines that has maintained its ambition to shape theory and to lead the debate. As chief editor for twenty years, Nikolaus Kuhnert has made Arch+ into the most important German medium for architectural and urbanistic discussions. In essays and interviews, above all as initiator and moderator Kuhnert has assembled the most important international authors in the recent past and thereby has publicized in Germany themes such as deconstruction, the dissolution of cities, new media, new geometries, new building materials or technologies. As a spearhead for a second modernism, Kuhnert has once again made architecture into a laboratory of ideas that extends far beyond the act of building. Michael Mönninger