Loving Peter Zumthor’s work, having staid and visited a couple of his projects in Switzerland especially- Therme De Vals. I was eagerly awaiting experiencing his pavilion at the private view last night.
I have to say I was left quite cold and actually found sitting in the courtyard space that was centrally open to the elements quite claustrophobic; maybe not helped by the density of people (to be viewed again at later date). The corridors running on the outside felt soulless rather than exciting with anticipation for entrance into another space. What I loved about his work I had previously seen was the play of scale which in turn affected light and sound in spaces and contrasting phenomenological responses. To me the Dutch garden designed by Piet Oudolf’s, a meadow of cow-parsley and mixed wild grasses becomes the focal point and the most successful element of the project.
It is interesting to read reviews now and see journalists herald it as the best ever; sadly I can’t see it. It reminds me of when people applaud contemporary dance as thought provoking and wonderful and you sit there and think as joe bloggs it was rubbish and it was in the name and not the production of quality work. We seem to forget we are all human and not every project is successful and to me this is one.But I would recommend if ever have the chance to experience Therme de Vals- DO IT! was like sherbet for the senses.