Simplification, geometric abstraction, materiality, tea, relevance of the work to the landscape-environmental and socio-economic contexts of reference, are the main characteristics that characterize Swiss architecture, whose primary attention to the reasons for building, in a reworked continuity with the themes of the modern, remains as a necessary and adequate response to the current crisis.
Central to this is the figure of Peter Zumthor (b.1943), Ptritzker prize 2009 and RIBA (Royal Institute of British Architects) Royal gold medal 2013, whose poetic research has always been linked to expressive conciseness and essentiality material of the artefact, rooted in the context to which it belongs, develops in the creation of ‘atmospheres’ in which to summarize the phenomenological experience of space, as in the Kolumba Museum (2007) in Cologne and in the Chapel of San Nicola de Flue in Hof Scheidtweiler (2007) in Mechernich in Germany, in the Steilneset Memorial (2011, with Louise Bourgeois) in Vardø, Norway, and in the project for the LACMA (Los Angeles County Museum of Art), which is scheduled to open in 2022.
Attentive to the expressive economy, in the shared rational inclination and in the executive correctness, they continue to work among others: Luigi Snozzi (b.1932), author, with Sa-brina Snozzi Groisman and Gustavo Groisman (in partnership since 1992), of the building administrative 3 of the department of the territory in Bellinzona (2013) and of the Guidotti house (2011) in Monte Carasso, of which since 1978 he has developed the strategic plan of the urban center, articulated by interventions of different nature and consistency, all characterized by a laconic language and chastened; Theo Hotz Partner (b.1948), signatory of the main station in Vienna (2014) and, in Zurich, of the Sihlcity project (2007) for the revitalization of an industrial area, of the Aarau station (2014), of the Skykey (2014)) and the Police and Justice center (2019); Diener & House of music, archive and library (2010) at the Benedictine Monastery of Einsiedeln, the Mobimo Tower (2011) in Zurich and the Markthalle Tower (2012) in Basel, as well as, abroad, the extension of the Museum of Natural Sciences (2010) in Berlin and the Memorial of the Shoah (2012) in Drancy; Bearth & Deplazes (1988, partnership shared since 1995 with Daniel Ladner), signatory of the new Monte Rosa refuge (2009) in Zermatt and, with the Durish + Nolli firm (1993), of the Federal Criminal Court (2013) of Bellinzona, who involved, in the design of the concrete vaults of the courtrooms, the studio Gramazio Kohler (1999), already a signatory with Bearth & Deplazes of the Cantina Gantenbein (2007) in Fläsch and generally informed about a digital and parametric feeling never dissociated, however, from the construction system; Valerio Olgiati (b.1958), designer capable of drawing his expressive power from a simple and primordial idea, as can be seen from the Bardill atelier (2007) in Scharans (2007), from the Visitor Center (2008) to the Swiss National Park of Zernez, from the Plantahof Auditorium (2010)) to Landquart; Christian Kerez (b.1962), author prone to clear structural expression, as in the school building (2009) in Leutschenbach (Zurich) and in the (unrealized) project for the Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw, winner of the international competition in 2006.
Characterized by a particular attention to the casings, to the textures, to the manipulation and experimentation of materials, is the whole work of Herzog & de Meuron, Pritzker Prize 2001, whose professional partnership started in 1978 has produced some of the most appreciated and awarded iconic buildings on the international scene. Among the latest in Basel, the Elsässertor II commercial building (2005), the St. Jakob Tower (2008), the Museum der Kulturen (2010), the Roche 97 building (2011), the Basel Messe Center (2013), as well as the temporary Schaulager Satellite pavilion (2012), alongside the numerous interventions carried out abroad, among the most important: the Michael H. de Young Memorial museum (2005) in San Francisco, the expansion of the Walker art center (2005) in Minneapolis, the Allianz Arena (2005) in Munich, the Caixa Forum (2007) in Madrid, the Cottbus library (2008),
for the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing; Luscher Architectes (1970), signatories of the Prilly-Malley RER station in Lausanne (2012), the Selve-Areal Tower (2013) in Thoune and the FIBA world headquarters (Fédération Internationale de BAsketball, 2013) in Mies; the Mieli & Peter studio (1987), author of the expansion of the Sprengel Museum (2015) in Hanover and, in Zurich, of the football stadium (2009), of the new City West residential complex (2014) – with the Zölly Tower (Silver hare award 2014) – and the transformation of the former no duty free warehouse into residential useAlbisrieden (expected to be completed in 2016); Morger & Detti studies (2006) – author of the Hilti art foundation / Huber Uhren Schmuck (2015) in Vaduz and of the HGK University of art and design (2014) in Basel – and Degelo Architekten (2005) – signatory of the extension of the Davos congress center (2010) and the renovation of the St. Jakobshalle (which is expected to be completed in 2017) in Basel – until 2005 united in the partnership Morger & Degelo.
Among the youngest and most innovative studies: EM2N (1997), author of the Hardbrücke railway station (2007), of the Cultural Center (2011) of Thun, and, in Zurich, of Theater 11 (2006), of the expansion of the maintenance of the Herdern trains (2013) and the Neufrankengasse residential complex (2013); Christ & Gantenbein (1998), signatory of the extensions to the Basel Museum of Art (2015) and the Swiss National Museum in Zurich (scheduled to open in 2016); Camenzind Evolution (1998), author, in Zurich, of the Seewürfel (2005) and KISS (2012) complexes and the Cocoon office building (2007), as well as service buildings for the Google Company, such as the EMEA Engineering Hub ( 2008) in Zurich, the offices in Moscow (2010) and Tel Aviv (2012), the Dublin campus (2013); Group8 (2000), International Committee of the Red Cross, 2011), all in Geneva, and residences (2012) in Crans-près-Céligny; Holzer Kobler Architekturen (2004), signatories of the Wasserschloss residential complex (2012) in Gebenstorf, of the new Edelreich shopping center (due to open in 2016) in Wigoltingen, of the conversion and extension of the Cattaneo building (2008) and of the renovation of the RWD-Hochhaus tower (2007), both in Dietikon (Zurich).