Conrad Ferdinand Meyer Preis 2018

Tom Emerson has been awarded the Conrad Ferdinand Meyer Prize 2018. The literary prize commemorating the Swiss poet Conrad Ferdinand Meyer has been awarded annually since 1938 for outstanding cultural achievements in the canton of Zürich.


Emerson has been awarded the prize for collaborative work realised with architecture students from eth in the city of Zürich including the Pavilion of Reflections, a floating arts pavilion for Manifesta 11 (2016), which attracted over 100,000 visitors and the Belvedere Zollikon, a green oak staircase enabling views across Lake Zürich completed in 2013.


Emerson is only the second architect to be awarded the prize since the architect-turned-novelist Max Frisch won in 1938. The prize has historically largely been received by Swiss writers, journalists, academics and visual artists. 


The other winners are the linguist Dr Simone E. Pfenninger, for her research on second language acquisition at the University of Zürich, and the author Dorothee Elmiger for her novels Invitation to the Daredevils and Sleepers.


Glasgow Atlas at La Biennale di Venezia 2018

Drawings by former students Theresa Behling, Lazlo Blaser, Benjamin Pannatier, Mauro Meuli, Jann Erhard, Hermes Killer, Carla Häni and Anouk Wetli from the Glasgow Atlas (2014) are exhibited in Architectural Ethnography at the Japanase Pavilion, La Biennale di Venezia 2018 curated by Momoyo Kaijima, Laurent Stalder and Yu Iseki.

Photo Andrea Sarti / Cast1466.


Photography Workshop with Candida Höfer

Still from Rui Xavier's Silent Spaces 

On Wednesday 17 May, Studio Tom Emerson will host a photography workshop with the artist Candida Höfer, following a screening of Rui Xavier’s film Silent Spaces, at 10 am in HIL E4. The workshop will look at the students’ photographs from the Lange Erlen Atlas.

Podium Discussion on Contemporary Architecture



Tom Emerson is to take part in a podium discussion on the lineages of contemporary architecture, along with Fabio Gramazio, Peter Swinnen and Christian Kerez, following a talk by Alejandro Zaera-Polo, as part of the series Architektur II, hosted by the Chair of Christian Kerez.


6pm Tuesday 16 May, HIL E4, ETH Hönggerberg






A Brief Introduction to the History of Architectural Representation

Casa de Porti, Andrea Palladio, I quattro libri dell architettura, 1570 


Prof. Dr. Stefan Holzer, Chair of Building Archaeology and Construction History at ETH Zurich will give a “A Brief Introduction to the History of Architectural Representation”

HIL F41, Tuesday 28th February 2017 at 4pm


Pavilion of Reflections in Wood


Pavilion of Reflections published in ‘Wood’, edited by William Hall

Pavilion of Reflections in Architecture and Detail (China)



Tom Emerson talks to Michel Houellebecq for Art Review

Tom Emerson talks to Michel Houellebecq for Art Review 


From word to image: Tom Emerson talks to French poet and novelist Michel Houellebecq in Art Review (Vol 68 no5, Summer 2016)about about space, landscape and transitioning from the page to the spaces of Palais de Tokyo, where his exhibition opens on 23 June and Manifesta 11 in Zurich. 

Outside Insight, review in Architecture Today

Review of the Glasgow Atlas in Architecture Today, May 2016 


Fred Smith reviews the Glasgow Atlas exhibition and catalogue in Architecture Today, May 2016

Glasgow Atlas exhibition catalogue

1/2 Glasgow Atlas exhibition catalogue is published 


The catalogue for the Glasgow Atlas exhibition has been published.


Volume I contains the collective survey carried out the students and introductory texts by Galsgow Internation Director Sarah McCrory, Tom Emerson and a conversation with Arno Brandlhuber.


Volume II contains the speculative design projects developed from the Atlas survey


Glasgow Atlas is available from Studio Tom Emerson, the ETH bookshop and the AA Bookshop


Please contact:



Glasgow Atlas exhibition from 8-24 April 2016


In 2014, students from Studio Tom Emerson produced a collective survey of Glasgow followed by architectural proposals, collectively known as the Atlas. “Learning from the existing landscape is a way of being revolutionary for an architect” wrote Venturi and Scott-Brown in Learning From Las Vegas in 1972.  The sentiment is even more important today as Glasgow accommodates a new post-industrial landscape.


1/4 Galsgow Atlas exhibition April 2016 as part of Glasgow International 2016 biennial festival of contemporary art. 


The survey is a radical act. From Piranesi’s Antichite Romane to Rem Koolhaas’ record of the Berlin Wall, the survey has been instrumental in not only recording, but also transforming a vision of the past into the future. The projects developed by the students range from rethinking great tracts of city and landscape, to tiny, almost unnoticeable adjustments to boundaries and thresholds, from the fantastical to the plausible. They have suggested new parks, walks, baths, playing fields and viaduct housing woven into Glasgow’s fabric. The Atlas makes no distinction between the used and the abandoned, between the well-known and the forgotten. All surveys are incomplete, subjective, and bear all the naiveté of the outsider’s gaze. They are an attempt to see and retain something, to look more carefully for a future in what is there.


The exhibition is shown as part of Glasgow International 2016, and supported by Stephanie Macdonald of 6a architects.


A catalogue will be published alongside the exhibition with contributions from Arno Brandlhuber.





Glasgow Atlas


Type: Exhibition


Address: UNIT 22, 100 BORRON STREET, Glasgow, G4 9XG


Getting Here: The canal side venue is a short walk from the city centre, served by First Bus Service No75 – Castlemilk to Milton – every 10 minutes.


Opening Event: 2.30pm on Saturday 9 April.


Opening times: Monday-Sunday 11am – 5pm; Friday 08 April 2016 – Saturday 24 April 2016


For more information, please contact:

Assemble: Collective Practice, Tuesday 12 April, 6:30pm, HIL F41

Yardhouse, Assemble, London 


Adam Willis of London based collective Assemble will be guest critic on 12 and 13 April and will give a lecture titled Assemble: Collective Practice on Tuesday 12 April, 6:30pm, HIL F41

Pavillon of Reflections 



Manifesta, the nomadic, European biennial of contemporary art will hold its eleventh iteration in Zurich in summer 2016. Floating in the lake by the city centre, Manifesta 11’s Pavillon of Reflections will serve as its public forum for the hundred days of the biennial. It will offer space for dialogue and reflection on the artworks created as part of the biennial, and serve as a gathering place for participants and visitors. The pavilion project is being led by a team of thirty architecture students from Studio Tom Emerson at ETH Zurich who, in dialogue with the curatorial team of Manifesta 11, are collectively responsible for the conception, development and construction of the Pavilion.


The students developed a collective working process and the coordination and communication required. The greatest challenge is also the project's greatest potential: to translate the shared design into a built work. After an initial ideas competition between smaller groups of students, teams worked at different scales — from its setting in the city and the lake basin, through to 1:1 scale prototypes — to bring the many design-related, technical and organisational dimensions of the project together to in a multi-layered and ultimately buildable architectural project. Apart from the design process, the construction techniques in particular will influence the final design of the Pavilion. The Pavilion of Reflections is made entirely of wood; the way the material is dealt with is an essential part of the design and construction process. Following the detailed design phase, from January 2016 onwards the Pavilion will be prefabricated and assembled by the students in a production hall in Zurich. 


The pavilion is designed as an urban island, that with its swimming pool and bar serves as a meeting point on the lake. The tribune, which seats open-air cinema audiences in the evenings, serves as a place to relax during the day. Alongside the operation as swimming baths, the spatial structure of the project is informed by the film screenings and the associated programme of events of Manifesta 11.   In the evening, the sun deck by the pool serves as an extension of the tribune.  The pool in the middle of the Pavilion serves, in turn, as an extension of the screen: the LED screen bathes the platform in the light of the moving images, while the tower signals to the city; marking the pavilion in the lake, as visitors gather around the bar.


Team: Christina Albert, Lorenzo Autieri, Vera Bannwart, Alexander Bradley, Arthur de Buren, Jonathan Egli, Josephine Eigner, Kathrin Füglister, Michelle Geilinger, Rudolf Goldschmidt, Dimitri Haefliger, Hannes Hermanek, Donia Jornod, Ricardo Joss, Thierry Jöhl, Phillipp Kraus, Roberto Leggeri, Lukas Loosli, Jonas Meylan, Karin Pfeifer, Jeremy Ratib, Nancy Reuland, Daria Rey, Hanna Schlösser, Valentina Sieber, Anna Maria Stallmann, Kaspar Stöbe, Anastasia Vaynberg, Claartje Vuurmans and Sonja Widmer.







The work of Studio Tom Emerson featured in Accatone 2




A+T publishes the Harvard symposia on architecture



Tom Emerson's lecture presented at the Harvard symposium on Design Techniques is published in A+T including Atlas and construction projection by eth students.


Studio Tom Emerson is nominated for the Iakov Chernikhov Prize

Iakov Chernikhov Prize 

The Iakov Chernikhov Prize is awarded every two years to young masters of contemporary architecture aimed at solving current social and cultural problems on the basis of humanistic principles in the art of architecture and supports of experimental, educational and research works in the field of innovative architecture and town planning. A jury consisting of authoritative international architects will select the winner from among the nominees chosen by an international committee of the experts.


Members of the our team are also part of two other nominations; London based 6a architects, directed by Tom Emerson and Stephanie Macdonald and Zurich based Gruppe led by Boris Gusic, Christoph Junk and Nick Lobo Brennan have been nominated for the same prize.


Dan Graham visiting Studio Tom Emerson






Working in Stages



Theater Objects. A Stage for Architecture and Art

LUMA Foundation, Löwenbräu Areal Zürich, 21. November 2014 till 28. February 2015


Atlas, a retrospective of collaborative work, 2010-2014, opened at ETH Zurich on 7 October


Richard Wentworth and Peter Märkli open exhibition at ETH Zurich on 7 October

1/11 Fun Palace, photo by Richard Wentworth 


Tom Emerson guest critic in Mark Lee and Sharon Johnston Studio, UCLA, 19 March 2014



Never Modern by Irénée Scalbert and 6a architects is published by Park Books, Zurich


Architecture critic Irénée Scalbert pulls the threads of conversations held over the years and teases out material for a theory on the work of Tom Emerson's London office, 6a architects.


Paperback 176 pages, 64 illustrations

140 x 200 mm

isbn 978-3-906027-24-1


Designed by John Morgan studio 

Published by Park Books, Zürich

Available soon from Park Books, the AA Bookshop in London, Hochparterre in Zurich and selected bookshops.


Exhibition at the Technische Universität Darmstadt, 12-21 June



Exhibition in Dresden, 10 April


So Far Soane, 6 November 2012, 7pm

'A student measuring a Corinthian capital at the Temple of Stator (Castor and Pollux), Rome', drawn by Henry Parke c.1806.  

David Kohn, guest to our Chair for this week's interim studio crits, will give a presentation of his work. The lecture will take place at 7PM on Tuesday 6 November at Pavilion HIQ and is open to all.



ETH Zürich 
Pavilion HIQ
Wolfgang-Pauli-Str. 15 
CH–8093 Zürich

HIQ location map

Forst Atlas Exhibition


The Forst Atlas exhibition was opened on Thursday, 1 November 2012. The show is located in the Güterbahnhof, an abandoned postwar warehouse, and attracted many visitors from Forst and the region. 




The Collection, Monk's Parlour, 17 October 2012


We are happy to announce that the students of Studio Tom Emerson have completed our fourth full scale structure! The current pavilion is an interpretation of a fragment from the John Soane Museum in London (1822) made from reclaimed timber, much of which was used in the previous three constructions. 

Galway Atlas Exhibition


The Galway Atlas exhibition was opened on Monday, 8 October 2012. The show attracted many visitors from Galway and the region.


Forst Atlas, 1–18 November 2012


You are invited to an exhibition of architectural projects by students from Studio Tom Emerson, ETH Zurich at 


Alter Güterbahnhof

Karl Liebknecht Str. 2–6

D–03149 Forst (Lausitz)


From Friday 2 November to Sunday 18 November 2012

Wednesday - Sunday, 3–7pm

Opening Thursday 1 November, 5pm


Students from ETH Zurich have produced an architectural survey of Forst followed by a series of design projects that explore new ways to think about the future of the city.

A catalogue will be published alongside the exhibition with contributions from Professor Philip Ursprung, Pier Vittorio Aureli and Tom de Paor.


“Tom Emerson’s studio expedition recalls another, famous trip, made almost half a century ago. In 1968 Robert Venturi and Denise Scott Brown took their studio to Las Vegas, to analyze the Strip. While Learning from Las Vegas, first published in 1972, became an icon for the shifting borders between high architecture and vernacular culture, the issue of Emerson’s studio is different. From the Atlas we can learn that capitalism is not merely about linear growth, but also about decay and loss.”

Professor Philip Ursprung, Mapping the Sunken Terrain

Galway Atlas, 9–20 October 2012


You are invited to an exhibition of architectural projects by students from Studio Tom Emerson, ETH Zurich in partnership with Galway City Councils Arts and Architecture departments. The exhibition will be held at


Galway Shopping Centre Gallery 

Headford Road 

Galway City

9–20 October 2012, Monday to Sunday 10am–6pm. 

Opening at 5pm on Monday 8 October.


Students from ETH Zurich have produced an architectural survey of Galway and design projects that explore new ways to think about the future of the city. 

A catalogue will be published alongside the exhibition with contributions from Shelley McNamara and Elia Zenghelis.


“These are the kind of student projects that change your perception of a place forever... So when I visit Galway next, I will encounter these strange and wonderful imagined worlds as my new reality.”

Shelley McNamara, Grafton Architects, Dublin


“The projects presented an incredible transformation for the city, while the drawings and images spoke on their own; une architecture parlante.”

Elia Zenghelis 

A Town Tormented by the Sea, 29–30 May 2012


Our final studio review is being held on 29-30 May 2012 with guest critics Elia Zenghelis and Shelley McNamara.




Pascal Flammer lecture, 8 May 2012, 7.30pm



Pascal Flammer will be joining us for our second critique of the semester. At 7.30PM on Tuesday 8 May Pascal will hold a lecture about his work that will take place at Pavilion HIQ and is open to all.



ETH Zürich 
Pavilion HIQ
Wolfgang-Pauli-Str. 15 
CH–8093 Zürich

HIQ location map


Peter Beard lecture8 May 2012, 7pm


Peter Beard will be joining us for our second critique of the semester together with Pascal Flammer. At 7PM on Tuesday 8 May Peter will hold a lecture about his work that will take place at Pavilion HIQ and is open to all.



ETH Zürich 
Pavilion HIQ
Wolfgang-Pauli-Str. 15 
CH–8093 Zürich

HIQ location map


Seth Siegelaub in conversation with Philip Ursprung, 4 April 2012


Seth Siegelaub and professor Philip Ursprung discussing how art history is made in Cabaret Voltaire. The conversation was part of Studio Tom Emerson's lecture series Crafting, constraining, weaving, recording but not completing.

Dysart and Palaces, Tom dePaor Lecture, 3 April 2012, 7pm


Dublin based architect Tom dePaor will be joining us for our first critique of the semester. At 7PM on Tuesday 3 April Tom will hold a lecture about his work that will take place at Pavilion HIQ and is open to all.



ETH Zürich 
Pavilion HIQ
Wolfgang-Pauli-Str. 15 
CH–8093 Zürich

HIQ location map


Tom de Paor was born in London 1967 and graduated from the School of Architecture at University College Dublin in 1991. He has since taught at a variety of schools in Ireland and England and lectured widely internationally. He has received various national and international acknowledgements for his built work, both private and public. He represented Ireland at the Venice Biennale of 2000, 2006 and 2008. In 2010 he co-curated the Irish Pavilion and made a pavilion for the Biennale International exhibition. Publications include N3, Circle Book, Reservoir and ‘Of’ with ‘previous, next’ in preparation.



São Paulo Escondido15–26 March 2012

1/33 Casa de Vidro, Lina Bo Bardi 

Diving into the dense fabric of the metropolis we have explored radical mordernist architecture and infrastructure including the works of Oscar Niemeyer, Vilanova Artigas, Lina Bo Bardi, Franz Heep, Paulo Mendes da Rocha and Marcos Acayaba.


We would like to thank our experts and friends Fabio Valentim, 

Fernando Felippe Viégas, Felipe Lobo Faro, Pablo Hereñú, Fabienne Hoelzel, Tereza Diniz, Ercília Lobo, Zuza Homem de Mello, Maria Luiza Lacerda Soares, Fernanda Barbara, Raul Juste Lores, the Escola da Cidade, Vito Macchione, Ana Paula Castro and Paulo Mendes da Rocha for their insightful guidance and affectionate reception.



Forst – News from nowhere, 20–21 December 2011


Our final studio review is being held on 20–21 December 2011 with guest critics Philip Ursprung, Tom dePaor and Pier Vittorio Aureli.




Plenty Empty, Adam Khan Lecture, 22 November 2011, 7pm

Brockholes Visitor Centre 

Adam Khan will give a talk about his work on Tuesday 22 November at 7pm and will be our guest for our second critique of the semester

(22-23 November). He lives and works in London ( 

The lecture will take place at Pavilion HIQ and is open to all.



ETH Zürich 
Pavilion HIQ
Wolfgang-Pauli-Str. 15 
CH–8093 Zürich

HIQ location map



Anne Holtrop Lecture, 2 November 2011, 6.30pm


Amsterdam based architect Anne Holtrop will be joining us for our first critique of the semester. At 6.30PM on Wednesday 2 November Anne will hold a lecture about his work. The lecture will take place at Pavilion HIQ and is open to all.



ETH Zürich 
Pavilion HIQ
Wolfgang-Pauli-Str. 15 
CH–8093 Zürich

HIQ location map



Hidden Glasgow, 24–30 October 2011

1/3 Visiting St Bride's in East Kilbride by Gillespie Kidd & Coia (1963)  

Using trains, taxis, speedboats, coaches and hiking boots we have moved from churches to shipyards, from ruins to bonfires, from galleries to pubs. We would like to thank our expert guides Barnabas Calder, Alan Pert, Toby Webster, Jacqueline Donachier, Sherpa Jangbu and Jane MacInnes for their welcoming and insightful walks through the social and built fabric of Glasgow.



Scribes & Squares, 18 October 2011


Actors from the ZHDK have started rehearsing in the Scribes & Squares theater on Hönggerberg for performances taking place in December when the structure will be moved from the campus into the city.



Forst – News from nowhere, 9–12 October 2011


During our recent trip to Forst students of the design studio surveyed the city 'as found' to produce an atlas made from drawing and photographic plates.



We were never modern, 7 October 2011


Tom Emerson's Inaugural Lecture will take place at 5.15PM on 7 October 2011 at ETH Zürich, Hauptgebäude. This event is part of the DARCH Tendencies lecture series.



Scribes & Squares, 5 October 2011


We will celebrate the completion of our structure for a theatre with a live show and apéro. 

Trouvaille Sihlquai, 31 May 2011


Our final studio review was held on 31 May and 1 June 2011 with guest critics Peter Carl and Paulo Providencia.




Jaú, 8 March 2011


Please all join our celebration of the newly completed Jaú pavilion.



Archithese, 1 January 2011


The 96 Hands pavilion was published in the 1.2011 issue of Archithese. Article by Hannes Mayer.



Knowing one's place, 19 October 2010