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Chair of Architecture and Urban Design
Asst. Prof. Dr. Alex Lehnerer
Grand Urban Rules

Design Rules and Design With Rules!

Cities as cultural products are neither ‘built’ nor ‘planned,’ at best they are guided and steered in a certain direction. Therefore, rules and regulations are one of the few tools that are actually suitable to guide future development within such collective and complex urban settings.

We strongly believe that the field of (urban) design should not simply adhere to these standards as some neutrally existing context but should actively engage in discussing them in order to make them subject to design as well. read more

Office for urban regulation

2h Shadow


A high-rise may not place a neighboring residential building in shadow for more than two hours per day. (See high-rise definition: LH)

  • High-rise retrofitted in a narrow Zurich block according to the 2H-Rule
    Image credits: Kaisersrot
  • Every high-rise has its specific 2 hour shadow.
  • How to construct the shadowed area.
    Image credits: City of Zurich.

Rule category

Rights of Light: enough light and air for everybody
The Kind of Rule
Rule that works as reference, ratio, or dependency.
Rule that is NOT related to any preconceived zone or area.
Rule that stipulates an upper limit.
Rule that has a strong influence on urban density and its distribution.
Rule that influences programmatic and functional issues.
Rule with direct impact on architectural or urban form.
Rule that regulates building heights.
Neighborhood Rule: Rule that works at neighborhood scale.