Peter Zumthor was born in 1943 in Basel, Switzerland. He originally trained as a cabinet maker, then continued his studies at the Kunstgewerbeschule Zürich before studying industrial design and architecture at Pratt Institute in New York in 1966. Since 1968, he worked on restoration projects as conservationist architect for the Department of the Preservation of Monuments of Grisons. He founded his own architecture firm in 1979 and his projects generally display a minimalist style and an outstanding attention to detail and precision. He was awarded the Praemium Imperiale in architecture in 2008, the Pritzker Prize in 2009 and the RIBA Royal Gold Medal in 2013.