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Architects Jacques Herzog and Pierre de Meuron are celebrating their 70th birthday

They made a name for themselves with the flat glass and concrete cube for the Goetz Collection in Munich, reminiscent of a minimalist sculpture, and also with Stellwerk 4 in Basle. They became famous internationally with the redevelopment of an old power station on the Thames into Tate Modern, the “Bird’s Nest” Olympic stadium in Beijing and the glass jewel of the Hamburg Elbphilharmonie set on a disused warehouse. Friends ever since primary school, they both studied architecture in Zurich and found global fame together with the firm they started in 1978. They are, of course, the Basle-based architects Jacques Herzog and Pierre de Meuron, who are celebrating their 70th birthday during these weeks. Both were born in Basle, Jacques Herzog on 19 April and Pierre de Meuron on 8 May 1950. Between the two, Herzog is known as the communicator whilst de Meuron is adept at negotiating with investors and drawing up budgets. In 2001 Herzog & de Meuron were awarded the Pritzker Architecture Prize, the highest distinction in architecture. In 2005 they designed a stool for Vitra that gave the appearance of being extravagant and simultaneously natural.

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