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Herzog & de Meuron
Text by Sean Ballent


A plethora of brilliant minds and products have come out of Basel, Switzerland, earning it top nods among luxury-lovers as one of the most elite international cities when it comes to art and culture. In 2001, two new names were added to the accomplished list that Basel produced when Jacques Herzog and Pierre de Meuron, Basel natives born in 1950, earned the Pritzker Architecture Prize. Upon completing their studies at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich, the pair partnered up in 1978, created Herzog & de Meuron, and immediately went to work, constructing a reputation as solid as their designs. They have been hailed for their work in converting the abandoned Bankside power station on the Thames River into the renowned Gallery of Modern Art for the Tate Museum, as well as for their work with silkscreened glass and concrete for the library at the Technical University in Eberswalde, Germany. The team’s early works are often described as reductivist pieces of modernity, but more recently their claims to architectural fame at the Barcelona Forum Building, Prada Tokyo, and the Beijing National Stadium (which debuted with all the eyes of the world upon it at the 2008 Olympic Games) indicate the dynamic duo may be leaning towards a reorganized and restructured architectural philosophy, further exemplified by their designs for New York’s 56 Leonard.