If you would like to do your Master Thesis with us please submit your portfolio to our Chair until Friday 23 December 2016. We only accept applications in paper format and will select the candidates until 11 January 2017.
Your portfolio should present a selection of your work that you consider to be your strongest projects. It is not important to cover all semesters.
You can hand it over personally at our office E 62.1 on Tuesdays and Wednesdays or leave it with the post office at ETH Hönggerberg.
If you have any further questions please contact Christoph Junk, firstname.lastname@example.org
An Architecture School for Zurich
Theme B proposes to relocate the department of architecture to Kasernenareal.
The Department of Architecture is currently located at ETH Hönggerberg Science City and ONA in Oerlikon, with the additional use of the small Gisel Studio within the city. At Hönggerberg, the HIL building is due for a major refurbishment and the small pavilion studios will be redeveloped in the near future to make space for new academic buildings.
The department will have to relocate for the refurbishment. Whether temporary or permanent, moving the department is a major technical and cultural shift calling into question the fundamental purpose and values of an architectural education.
Returning the whole department to the city centre is the alternative that could extend its contribution to the social and creative life of the city. Kasernenareal offers far more space than is required for the teaching and research of the department, opening the possibility of extending the programme to include other public institutions associated with architecture and urbanism. An extended Architekturforum, exhibition hall, publisher, bookshop and more could be anchored by the department and bring together architectural discourse with the everyday life of the city.
The site covers approximately 63,000 square metres of ground. The existing buildings comprise of 35,000 to 40,000 square metres of internal space. The Department of Architecture requires around 21,000 square metres.
Kasernenareal is a listed historic monument. Any intervention, whether by re-use, restoration, extension, or partial or complete replacement will bring forward critical issues about history and heritage. While each student is free to develop their own architectural and urban strategy, an understanding of the legal and cultural consequences of development must be clear.
Projects may consider the entire site and all the buildings and open space within it. However, proposals may also focus on the architectural potential of a single building within the Kasernenareal (or ensemble of buildings) without necessarily alternating the architecture or use of the whole. For example, the police building at the eastern end of the site could be large enough to accommodate the programme.
The programme can be downloaded from our server at
please click on FS16 - Diploma - Kaserne
Basil Bolliger, Melina Cerfeda, Lorenza Donati, Angela Hottinger, Lena Schneider
Haus der Musik
Svenja Egge, Héloise Sierro, Rabea Kalbermatten, Michèle Skarpetowski, Daniel Tata Schneider
Sören Davy, Ferdinand Rabe von Pappenheim
A Public Loggia for Zurich
Alessandra Gava, Carla Häni, Ivana Milojevic, Lara Sciuto, Mélissa Vrolixs
Town Boundaries Brig
Joshua Brägger, Lukas Murer, Julian Oggier
Coach Station at the Sihlquai
Jonathan Banz, Julia Hemmerling, Clemens Klein, Lambrini Pikis
The Railway River
With the current restructuring of the railway layout in Zurich, new land is becoming available. Poor access at the edges of the railway tracks and multiple ownerships prevents this space from being perceived or conceived as a singular urban condition.
In incremental adjustments to the existing landscape what was a backyard becomes the face of the city. Selection, retention and re-use of important buildings are connected by an evolving landsacpe strategy. New developments, set in a new linear landscape park, are added to the existing matrix, creating an urban paradigm that reconciles individual specifities within an overall ensemble.
Alexandra Martinec, Eleonora Bassi, Lea Hottiger, Michael Lüscher, Nathalie Schümperlin, Rebekka Marxer, Stefan Roos
Crap Sogn Gion
Sihl – Brief
Only forty centimeters deep, the clear water of the Sihl rushes northwards over a rocky river bed. Dog walkers and cyclists drift past the reeds, alders, beeches that line the lush banks of this natural idyll in the centre of the city. Less than a kilometer to the east another river flows from Lake Zurich through the city between precisely constructed stone embankments. Ferries run along the Limmat while bridges connect the banks, sometimes so wide as to become a market square over water. Between the soft wetlands of the Sihl and the engineered urbanity of the Limmat the Schanzengraben cuts a deep moat retracing the last defensive geometry of the once fortified city.
Yet despite appearances, it is the Sihl, more than the Limmat that is the product of human design and construction. The path of the Sihl through the city has been made and remade many times over the centuries to suit differing human requirements providing power to industry and transport for goods and materials and, perhaps most importantly, as a means of controlling the natural flooding caused by overflows of the river delta that flowed into Lake Zurich. Zurich’s central street pattern can be read as a great network of drainage channels to protect the city from the glacial flooding that still threatens the city centre. The Limmat sustains a dignified urban presence in the city along the natural path set by ancient geological deposits.
Despite all the human intervention both recent and ancient, the Sihl is neglected, making a faltering passage through the city associated with being without the walls, i.e. outside the city proper, literally in the medieval city and maybe more psychologically in modern times.
This is not to say that the Sihl is without qualities. As it winds through the city it has moments of beauty (Sihlhölzli), or surreal juxtaposition below the underbelly of infrastructure (Enge to Wiedikon) or simply laconic indeterminacy in between.
Theme A invites you to reconsider the potential of the Sihl to enrich the territories and spaces it traverses. It can be considered as a linear public space whose urban and ecological character could enhance the city it passes. On the other hand, it could be considered as a series of cross sections with specific spatial and programmatic properties on each side connected by the river banks. More radically but not without precedent (you only need to look at the Romans, 19th century engineers or 70’s utopians) the design task may be the river itself as a single artefact.
The Sihl is a piece of landscape infrastructure which is both singular and a sequence of changing conditions creating rooms in the city. The dam at Sihlsee manages the flow of water along its length but the river banks are not continuous. The task can consider the totality of the urban Sihl and its embankments, a continuous public space extending from Letten to Sihl City and beyond. On the other hand, the project may be more restricted to specific places across the river where the city would benefit from greater connectivity across the banks.
Whether redesigning the riverbank, a bridge or densifying the city with new land, the project always remains a negotiation between the forces (and danger) of hydrology and the spatial structure of the city. But this is not a question simply of more development, but of potential to radically alter the identity of the city around its neglected river.
The Sihl is an opportunity for students working in urban design, landscape design, architecture or construction to engage the architectural imagination with the broader idea of the city from hydro engineering to a poetic derive.
'Weiterbauen an einem städtisches Geviert'
Benedikt Hengartner, Fabian Lauener, Laura Hänni, Mathias Lattmann
Adelina Fasan, Andreas Klein, Jan Pisani, Marius Helten
A Pavilion on Lake Zurich
Jan Zachmann, Michael Fehlmann
Zürcher Theater Spektakel
Annie Blackadder, Florence Willi, Nikolaus von Lüttichau, Raphaela Künzle
A Hotel on Uetliberg
Mario Bisquolm, Philipp Schaefle, Sebastian Hefti
Lukas Mersch, Nemanja Zimonjic
Sports, Nature und the City – Dolder Baths and Ice Rink
Katharina Schwiete, Lea Blodig, Lukas Burkhart, Noemi Engel, Sybille Nussbaum, Vedran Brasnic
Interior and Monument
Levin Meraner, Nikolai Dunkel
Anna Ebneter, Andreas Lochmatter, Bianca Kummer, Christoph Hiestand, Esther Vonwil, Guillaume Othenin-Girard, Ilaria Gianola, Lukas Kissling, Karl Rühle, Katrin Zumbrunnen, Sandra Mosbacher
The Raw and the Cooked - A Food Hall
Astrid Smitham, Berte Daan, Daniela Meyer, Deborah Troxler, Fabienne Waldburger, Filip Verbraken, Katrin Zimmermann, Michel Frei, Natalie Körner, Nathan Barnhart
The Raw and the Cooked - Brief
We probably have Hardbrücke to thank for ending the Y motorway planned to cut through the centre of the city. Built as a temporary structure in 1974, it is now a permanent condition in the city. 70,000 cars a day drive over the river and an increasingly varied array of provisional and planned development on the ground below.
The current refurbishment of the bridge has guaranteed another 40 years of life and Theme A will be examining the wider urbanism emanating from the relation between temporary and permanent conditions from the river to the railways. Theme C will address a point in this wider territory where the multiple topographies of land and infrastructure stack like an accelerated sedimentation of human geology.
The temporal issue which is at the heart of legal definitions of temporary versus permanent can be expanded metaphorically to include the geological time which formed the riverbed and hosts the city to the fleeting moments of everyday life in the neighbourhood.
The brief for Theme C is a public food hall, itself subject to the seasons and daily cycles of public life around Hardbrücke and the river. The food hall will be a small meeting point between people and the site, a public place where the complexity of natural and man-made topographies can be revealed and redefined. If Theme A deals with the urbanism of the wider area, Theme C is the urbanism of encounter or put another way, A is the territory and C is the point.
The site is a triangular piece of land on the southern bank of the river Limmat. It is defined by a series of lines and boundaries; the river, tram tracks, roads and bridges three dimensionally stacked to form one of the most complex corners in Zurich. It is remarkably well connected to every form of transport infrastructure yet is also completely cut off by the web of lines which surrounds it.
The main public high streets in Zurich are defined by precise start and end points, open public spaces with small public buildings. They connect to form a continous traverse from Bahnhof Tiefenbrunnen near the lake to the Hardturm Stadium (see drawing overleaf). The site forms a natural start for rethinking the public life of Hardstrasse below the bridge and the route from the river to Hardturm Stadium via Pfingstweidstrasse.
Following the sudden growth in car traffic in the 1950’s and 60’s, Hardbrücke was built in 1974 as part of the huge expansion of road infrastructure passing through the centre of Zurich. The bridge was built as a temporary structure although the current refurbishment will extend its life for another forty years.
Since the opening of Hardbrücke, the surrounding areas combine a mix of large scale office developments and industrial space. The overall urban form is nevertheless loose and another layer of more provisional uses have gravitated towards the temporary nature of the neighbourhood; bars, night clubs and garages.
The southern end of Hardbrücke, towards the railway, is now subject to major redevelopment marked by the Prime Tower, which is now a major landmark across the city. The Food Hall may be considered the other, less monumental end to this new public space.
With both the planned and unplanned development of the area, the number of people using the area has increased enormously over the past few years. The northern end of Hardbrücke, Escher-Wyss Platz and the riverside remain uncertain and contested. Attempts at creating some civic character in the midst of the intertwined infrastructure have so far failed. Only a year ago, Caruso St John and Thomas Demand’s wonderful Nagelhaus was cancelled in an outburst of conservative rhetoric. The need for some civic infrastructure remains. It is beyond the scope of Theme C to address all these issues, however a single public building project can address some of the latent questions about the future and past of this extraordinary place and provide basic provision of public services such as WC’s to increase security.
Food and the City
One of the fundamental activities of cities throughout history has been the production, storage and distribution of food. Today however only consumption remains. Even in this diminished field of food, many of the socio-cultural rituals and meanings have been eradicated in favour of speed, economy and ‘efficiency’. The erasure of food as a major force in the city matrix is matched only by its almost infinite availability. The only evidence of the provenance of food is ironically in the major roadways which allow trucks to deliver food (usually at night) from mega-distribution centres a long distance from city centres.
The food hall is a large public place to eat; a room in the city. It combines the preparation and serving of meals to large numbers of people with the production and retail of other foods (for example a bakery, fish monger, etc). The nature of the primary hall also lends itself to other forms of public assembly (music, theatre, public meetings, etc). Detailed attention must be given to the character of the interior, furniture, light, lighting and acoustics.
The following material is available on dvd and can be picked up from Mathias Imgrüt at HIL E73.1
– Master Thesis brief
– Drawings (Katasterpläne, Projektpläne Hardbrücke)
– Archive Material (Baugeschichtliches Archiv)
– Current development of the area
Amélie Fibicher, Felipe Fankhauser Bergental, Georg Loretan, Marco Kistler, Nelly Pilz, Theres Hollenstein