Herzog & de Meuron

While discussing the latest design and architecture on our visit to Switzerland, we decided to feature the most successful and celebrated architectural practice in the country, Herzog & de Meuron.

Perhaps it is appropriate to first mention one of the practice's latest projects, the Gondelbahn (cable car) Espel-Stofeli-Chaserrugg, connecting the valley station Espel with the mountain/top station in Toggenburg, Switzerland. The architecture of the top and base stations is inspired by the form of local barns and the facades are clad with corrugated Eternit panels in grey to mimic the weathered timber of livestock sheds.

(Photograph copyright: Juergen Pollak https://juergenpollak.de)

Established as a practice in 1978, by Jacques Herzog and Pierre de Meuron, the firm has an international team of 40 associates and 380 collaborators working on projects across Europe, the Americas and Asia. The firm's main office is in Basel with additional offices in Hamburg, London, New York and Hong Kong.

Commissions range from the small private home to large scale urban design. Jacques Herzog and Pierre de Meuron have been awarded numerous prizes including the Pritzker Architecture Prize (USA) in 2001 and the RIBA Royal Gold Medal (UK) in 2007.

The practice received international attention early on with the Blue House in Oberwil, Switzerland (1980) and the Stone House in Tavole, Italy (1988). The firm's breakthrough project was the Ricola Storage Building in Laufen, Switzerland (1987).

(Image courtesy of aasarchitecture.com)

Future Cities Forum recently featured the Tate Modern project at our cultural regeneration event in the autumn at which Donald Hyslop, Head of Regeneration and Community Partnerships at the museum, noted the use of brick in contrast to the glass of the City of London's financial district buildings. Known as 'The Switch', this is perhaps Herzog and de Meuron's most high profile project to date, which involved the expansion of the gallery, dedicated to exhibiting live art, performance, installation and film works.

The practice continues with its museum/cultural projects working on Barranca Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art in Guadalajara, Mexico and M+, the new museum for visual culture in Hong Kong. Featured by us in our previous blog, the Elbphilharmonie Hamburg, is a mixed-use complex including concert hall, hotel and apartments.

We are running our next cultural regeneration forum at Burlington House, Piccadilly on 14th June, in which we will be further evaluating the impact of museums and art centres on the aesthetic and economic development of future cities. Please ask for details.

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