Herzog & de Meuron

Winners of the 2007 Royal Gold Medal and perhaps best known for their conversion of the giant Bankside Power Station in London to the new home of Tate Modern


Jacques Herzog and Pierre de Meuron form an unusual double act. The two architects have been friends and collaborators, and have provided one another with inspiration since they were at school together. 

Yet they are like chalk and cheese and the edge the juxtaposition provides is to be seen everywhere in their architecture, from their early inspirational work in Switzerland, via the London projects for Tate Modern in 2000 and the RIBA Stirling Prize-winning Laban dance centre in 2003, to their recent work in Barcelona, Tokyo and Beijing - their high profile National Stadium, the main venue for the 2008 Olympic Games with its dramatic bird’s nest structure. Yet to come is the Miami Art Museum, set to open in 2010; and the new development for Transforming Tate Modern in London to be ready in time for the London Olympics.

Born: 1950 (both)
Nationality: Swiss

duMeuronRIBA4890_660px_2de Meuron © RIBA Library Photographs Collection 1990s

HerzogRIBA4889_660px_2Herzog © RIBA Library Photographs Collection

What is remarkable is their mastery of materials and their range of architectural form.

Their career has seen them move painlessly and swiftly from being an experimental studio, to establishing a big practice without diluting the quality and inventiveness of the work in any way. They approach each new project with no preconceptions and the result is a radical solution delivered with confidence and vigour. Their influence on the current and future generations of architects is huge, both as teachers as well as by example. This commitment to teaching and education is typical and is both an ingredient of their success and something our profession should be proud of.

RIBA President Jack Pringle’s citation concluded: 'Herzog and de Meuron are not at the end of their careers, they are in mid-flight. What is remarkable is their mastery of materials and their range of architectural form. Each new project is started anew and one can sense the relish they have in finding yet another solution, yet another expression.'

Tate Modern and Shakespeare's Globe Theatre, Bankside, London, seen at dusk from across the Thames © Pawel Libera / RIBA Library Photographs Collection 2002de Young Museum, San Francisco © Paolo Rosselli / RIBA Library Photographs Collection 2005Antipodes 1 Student Housing, Montmuzard Campus, Universite de Bourgogne, Dijon © Emmanuel Thirard / RIBA Library Photographs Collection 1996Allianz Arena at dusk, Werner-Heisenberg-Alle 25, Munich © Paolo Rosselli / RIBA Library Photographs Collection 2005