Zürich Beach

The city of Zurich developed out of the changing relationship to its bodies of water. The medieval city was arranged on both sides of the river. The industrial city gradually opened towards the lake shore.

This urban re-orientation towards the city's prominent water front happened relatively late in comparison to cities like Geneva or Lucerne, thus a beaux-art water front was never completed. Modernist approaches in landscaping the shore remained fragmented. In contrast, Zurich Beach is radically embraces the lake. The project literally multiplies the shore line: Horizontally - in redesigning a meandering coast line of twice the original length; Vertically - in doubling the shore with a continuous line of cantilevering buildings. This strategy allows for a woven design, both in plan and in section, that accommodates various public programmatic entities: A conference center, theater, hotel, rowing facilities and a sailing center. The lake side promenade on the expanded shore line is totally public, ultimately linking city and lake.

While projects like Rotterdam Transportation Museum explore the thickness of facade and membrane systems and Nouvelle Comedie Geneve aims to create depth and dematerialization in flat envelopes, two explorations of expanded surfaces operate on a larger urban scale: Zurich Beach, 2005 and Re-For-Mat Berlin, 2007 operate on and critique the urbanism of "mat" typologies. Moving up in scale, the expanded surface registers the space of predominant horizontal movement and inhabitation.

Zürich Beach - Urban development on the shore of Lake Zurich, Switzerland. 
Thesis project ETH Zurich, 2004 / Aurel von Richthofen

Expanding the coast-line of the lake Zürich
The coast-line: double in vertical and horizontal dimensions


Re-For-MAT is a critique of Berlin's Free University designed by Georges Candilis, Alexis Josic and Shadrach Woods in 1965. Next to the ordinary means of architectural representation - such as diagrams, plans and sections - the architects used a manual as a generative device for design. This manual, structured around a set of 13 synthetic rules and limitations, contained all the necessary information for the implementation of the design.

Mobility Museum

Rotterdam Mobility Museum is a linear structure occupying abandoned tracks next to the railroad station in Rotterdam. The facade is designed parametrically to respond to the surroundings. Its design resembles an illusive creature with metallic scales reflecting the surroundings. Its body is changing in width along a main linear direction of the tracks.

School Vevey

School Vevey is a design for an secondary school in the town of Vevey on the shore of lake Geneva including three sport halls, student restaurant, library, auditorium and 70 class rooms.

Splügen Rest Stop

Splügen is a landscape project located in the Upper Rhine Valley in Switzerland using parametrically designed “fins” to engage the river and manipulate the fluvial landscape. The Upper Rhine Valley is characterized by its pristine alpine ecology, yet, contrasted with a mayor highway connecting Germany and Italy running through it.

Euro Marseille

The present cathedral of Marseille is an icon malgre-lui. Of no particular historical relevance it was built in the 1930s as prominent sign overlooking the harbor, dwarfing its surroundings. In order to re-frame and re-direct this sacral building, EuroMarseille utilizes an ancient concept of axial shifting. When a basilica became too small its central axis was simply shifted by 90 degrees around the choir.

Portfolio 2002-2009

This Portfolio 2002-2009 is primarily an archive of projects gradually expanding through teaching and practice. In analogy to the periodic table this archive can hold, but also predict, elements before their actual discovery or realization in design. Within this framework the projects resist a reductive chronological or typological classification, common to many architectural portfolios.