Menu ETH
Chair of Architecture and Urban Design
Asst. Prof. Dr. Alex Lehnerer

Selected student projects

Student Project


FS 2017 The Architecture of Bureaucracy

It seems that each of the buildings in Zurich’s Uetlihof wants nothing to do with any of the others. Here, at the foot of Uetliberg, the only urban principle seems to be that of maximum indifference to one’s neighbors. Of course, what we do not see is the subterranean reciprocity that exists between each of these objects.

This project begins with an excavation. The earthen enclosure is cleared away, unmasking this ‘city-within-the-city’ and revealing the true face of the Uetlihof. In this empty moat, lateral forces pit earth and building against one another. Large, steel shorings and retaining walls enter the scene as mediators—arms and hands—that intervene, not only to keep soil and concrete at bay, but also to create new connections to the city.

Project by: Leander Peper Michael Thoma
Excavation site
Large, steel shorings and retaining walls enter the scene as mediators
Floor plan Level 00
Floor plan Level 01
Floor plan Level 07
Figure ground plan before
Figure ground plan after
Detailed sections show how the shorings work as connecting pieces from the existing structure to the external of the trench.
Existing structures outside of the site are used as new entrances
Cross section
Longitudinal section