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The extraordinary career of Jacques Herzog and Pierre de Meuron is presented here through a series of essays that begins with a critical appraisal of their first twenty years working together from their native Basel under the formative influence of the architect Aldo Rossi and the artist Joseph Beuys; a trajectory driven by a spirit of constant research that made every project a fresh experience. Some of their essential works – including the Signal Box railway utility building, the Dominus winery, Tate Modern, stadiums ranging from Allianz Arena to the Beijing ‘bird’s nest,’ and Madrid’s CaixaForum – are described in detail, but there is also commentary on unbuilt projects and stage sets for operas, a new cataloguing of the architects’ stylistic traits in dictionary form, and an exploration of their intellectual roots through texts published by the duo. Wrapping it all up is an article that syntactically abbreviates their biography as they turn 70 years of age, and ventures to explain why they have become the ‘gold standard’ of architecture.