Tourist Info

Outstanding Swiss Architecture

Swiss Architects
  · Karl Moser
  · Le Corbusier
  · Franz Füeg
  · Theo Hotz
  · Justus Dahinden
  · Herzog & De Meuron
  · Mario Botta
  · Peter Zumthor

in Switzerland

  · Historical
  · Santiago Calatrava

Wohlen Cantonal High School by Santiago Calatrava
Wohlen Cantonal High School by Santiago Calatrava
Alpe Foppa / Monte Tamaro, Switzerland: famous chapel by architect Mario Botta
Monte Tamaro chapel by Mario Botta

Karl Coelestin Moser

Karl Coelestin Moser was born August 10, 1860 in Baden, canton Aargau as son of architect Robert Moser and studied architecture at Switzerland's Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) Zurich (1878 - 1882). After extended studies in Paris he went to Karlsruhe (Germany) in 1887 and opened a joint office with Robert Curjel (Curjel & Moser).

After having realized a number of important buildings both in Germany and Switzerland, he was appointed professor at the ETH Zurich. Many well known Swiss architects were his students from 1915 to his resignation in 1928, among them Max Ernst Häfeli, Werner Max Moser and Rudolf Steiger (known as office HMS).

Major works by Karl Coelestin Moser

  • Petruskirche [St. Peter's Church], Kiel, 1905-1907
  • Lutherkirche am Gottesauer Platz, Karlsruhe-Oststadt, 1907
  • Stadthalle [town hall], Karlsruhe
  • Konzerthalle [concert hall], Karlsruhe
  • building for the Oberkirchenrat [church administration board], Karlsruhe
  • Christus Church and Luther Church, Karlsruhe
  • Kunsthaus [museum of art], Zurich, 1904, 1907-1910
  • University of Zurich
  • Paulus Church, Basel
  • St. Paul's Church, Lucerne
  • Antoniuskirche [St. Anthony's Church, Basel], 1926-1928 (first roughcast concrete church in Switzerland)
  • church in Zurich-Fluntern
  • Johannes Church and Paulus Church in Bern
  • more churches: Zug, Degersheim, Flawil
  • Badischer Bahnhof, Basel (major train station of German railway line on the right shore of River Rhine)
  • commercial building for PTT, Baden, 1931 [PTT = former Swiss Federal Post, Telegraph & Telephone Authority]
Basel: Paulus Church
Paulus Church, Basel
Lucerne: St. Paul Church
St. Paul's Church, Lucerne
St. Anthony Church: Nave
St. Anthony's Church, Basel

Karl Coelestin Moser had cooperations with several well known artists for artwork on his buildings, among them sculptors Oskar Kiefer and Carl Burckhardt (1878-1923), and painters Heinrich Altherr (1878-1947) and Max Läuger (1864-1952).

Le Corbusier

Zurich: Centre Le Corbusier
Centre Le Corbusier, Zurich

Le Corbusier (a pseudonym for Charles Édouard Jeanneret) is certainly Switzerland's best known architect, but many might not know that he is Swiss. Le Corbusier was born in La-Chaux-de-Fonds (western Switzerland) October 6th, 1887 and died August 27th, 1965 in France. He had a significant influence on the International Style dominating architecture in the early 20th century.

"Zurich Group" / "Post-War Modernity"

The title refers to a group of architects born between 1910 and 1930 who graduated from the ETH Zurich (Prof. William Dunkel) and had a strong influence on Swiss architecture in the second period of modern design right after World War II. The "Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule ETH" [Federal Institute of Technology] is Switzerland's best school for architects, scientists and engineers on university level.

Max Frisch

Max Frisch, born 1911, died 1991, would probably have had a great career as an architect, if he had not decided to quit this business for writing literature. Shortly after finishing his studies in architecture at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich, Frisch won a competition and built a municipal swimming pool. Recently, this work has been declared a building to be preserved.

Werner Frey

Born 1912, died 1989.


Born 1917

Jakob Zweifel

Jakob Zweifel was born in 1921. Studies from 1941 to 1946. Own office from 1949 in Zurich, 1971 also in Lausanne.

Major Works

Franz Füeg

Franz Füeg was born in 1921. Among his works is Pius Church in Meggen near Lucerne, an extraordinary steel construction with translucent marble instead of glass filling the interior with a unique light.

Meggen: Pius Church by Franz Füeg
Pius Church, Meggen near Lucerne

Justus Dahinden

Justus Dahinden, born May 18, 1925 in Zurich, studied architecture at the ETH Zurich from 1945 to 1949. In 1955 he founded his own office in Zurich. In 1974 Dahinden was elected professor at the Technical University Vienna (Austria). Dahinden is not only known for the buildings he designed but for important theoretical contributions on architecture and its interaction with individuals and society.

Major works by Justus Dahinden

Secular BuildingsMore than 30 Churches in Africa, Asia and Europe
  • Trigon-Dorf, Zurich-Doldertal, 1969
  • Restaurants in Swiss Centre, London, 1969
  • Ferrohaus, Zurich, 1970 (today: Klinik Pyramide am See)
  • Schwabylon complex including Tantris restaurant in Munich, Germany, 1973
  • Recreational village Twannberg, Switzerland, 1980
    (Grand Prix d'Architecture 1981)
  • Stierenhaus, Witikon, Switzerland, 1982
  • Parkhotel, Bad Mergentheim, Germany, 1983
  • Freizeitzentrum, Tel Aviv, Israel, 1984
  • Kettenhaussiedlung "Gass" in Gaggenau, Germany, 1985
  • Supermarket center, Ostermundigen, Switzerland, 1987
  • Derksen High School, Munich, Germany, 1987
  • Pier Pile Project, New York, 1990
  • Binzmühle residence, Zurich, 2005
  • Erlebniswelt Raurica Nova [fun park], Schweiz, 2005
  • Cathedral Mityana Pilgrims' Shrine, Mityana, Uganda, 1972
  • Cathedral The Uganda Martyrs Namugongo Shrine, Namugongo, Uganda, 1973
  • Multifunctional church Bruder Klaus, Spiez, Bernese Oberland, 1974 (declared 'protected architectural monument' in 1994)
  • La chiesa di San Giuseppe, Monza, Italy, 1976
  • San Maximilian Kolbe church, Varese, Italy, 1992
  • Basilica, St. Petersburg, Russia, 2002
  • Church and monastery St. Franciscus, Bratislava, 2003 (cooperation with STUDIO FOR)

Contemporary Swiss Architects

Theo Hotz

Theo Hotz was born on August 2, 1928. He preferres to work with aluminium and glass. Among his works we find:

Zurich: Fernmeldezentrum Herdern
Fernmeldezentrum Zürich-Herdern
[telecommunication center]

As fashion of the 1970's would have it, technical accessoires like air-condition tubes are proudly presented in vivid colors rather than hidden.

How to find: Aargauerstrasse 10, Zurich. Map: search.ch coordinates: Lat=47.3927 Lon=8.5006
Main entrance from Aargauerstrasse, next to Bus stop Aargauerstrasse on bus line 54 running from Escher-Wyss-Platz to Zurich-Altstetten train station. You may also change to this bus from Zurich-Hardbrücke S-Bahn train station (leave Hardbrücke station on the ground floor, bus stop is 100 steps straight on, still under the bridge).

Jacques Herzog and Pierre de Meuron

Basel: central signal box by architects Herzog & de Meuron

Mario Botta

Mario Botta: Chapel on Alpe Foppa

Peter Zumthor

Vals: Felsentherme by Swiss architect Peter Zumthor
Peter Zumthor: Felsentherme Vals
  • Biography and Links on Peter Zumthor
  • www.epdlp.com Peter Zumthor
  • Vals: Felsentherme
    Thermal spa designed by architect Peter Zumthor
    See picture on the left. Zumthor tries to interpret the sensuality of basic elements mountain, stone and water architecturally.
  • Sogn Benedetg: church
Sogn Benedetg church by Swiss architect Peter Zumthor
Sogn Benedetg church
courtesy flickr user lido_6006

Historical Architecture in Switzerland

All epochs of historical architecture in Europe are represented in Switzerland. Some examples:

Switzerland from A to Z
Short quotations allowed but with precise declaration of origin (Link).
Reproduction of substantial parts and pictures in printed or electronic form only with explicit written consent by the editor.