Architects of the Year – Herzog & de Meuron

MKM Küppersmühle
© Simon Menges

In 1978, Jacques Herzog and Pierre de Meuron (both born in Basel in 1950) founded an architectural firm in Basel that is now indisputably one of the largest and most important influential in the world with more than 500 employees and further offices in Berlin, Munich, London, Copenhagen, Paris, New York, San Francisco and Hong Kong. The partnership has grown over the years and is now under the joint leadership of the two founding partners along with five senior partners: Christine Binswanger, Ascan Mergenthaler, Stefan Marbach, Esther Zumsteg, and Jason Frantzen. Its The office's international projects range from major, spectacular unique construction projects of various scales to urban studies and single-family homes. In addition to prestigious corporate headquarters, many of the their designs are public buildings, such as museums and sports arenas, but also hospitals, churches and buildings for healthcare as well as life science and research. Herzog & de Meuron’s best-known designs include the conversion of the Tate Gallery of Modern Art in London (Tate Modern) with its later extension, the Allianz Arena in Munich and the Elbe Philharmonic Hall in Hamburg. As diverse and challenging as the projects tackled by the internationally award-winning firm may be, what they all have in common is the fact that they boldly transcend the boundaries of the everyday in a visionary way.

Allianz-Arena
© Robert Hösl

Statement of the jury

With their outstanding designs, which can now be admired on almost every continent, Herzog & de Meuron have over the past decades proven that they are among the most influential architects of our time. To this day, the team has time and again succeeded in combining form and functionality to create icons that have attracted international attention. The most recent examples are the extension for the »Museum Küppersmühle für Moderne Kunst«, which was completed in 2021, and of course the »M+« museum in Hong Kong, which also opened in 2021. The building, which looks like an upside-down »T«, has, according to Herzog’s own statement, »the potential to become the largest museum for visual culture in Asia.« And in the corporate sector, too, the firm has repeatedly managed to set standards, like with the 178-metre »Roche Tower« in Basel, which was completed in 2015 and will be followed in 2022 by a second tower that will be even taller at 205 metres. It will no doubt be interesting to see what icon Herzog & de Meuron come up with next.

Cottbus
© Future Documentation / Erica Overmeer

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