Teaching Architecture: Opening Reception

Swiss architects Christoph Gantenbein and Raphael Zuber join Sandra Vivanco of the California College of the Arts in a discussion on building the urban environment to officially open the exhibition, “Teaching Architecture: 3 Positions Made in Switzerland.”

Event Details


swissnex San Francisco
730 Montgomery St., San Francisco, 94111 United States


September 09, 2011 from 5:30 pm to 9:00 pm America/Los Angeles (UTC-07:00)

As part of the Architecture and the City Festival in San Francisco, swissnex hosts Teaching Architecture: 3 Positions Made in Switzerland, an exhibition expressing three points of view on urban architecture as envisioned by three leading teams of young architects at the three main Swiss architecture schools.

To officially open the exhibit in San Francisco, Christoph Gantenbein and Raphael Zuber, two of the architects involved, join Sandra Vivanco of the California College of the Arts (CCA) in a discussion on building the urban environment.

Christoph Gantenbein, of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich (ETH Zurich), presents the first results of his students’ work designing urban buildings for Zurich based on a typological transfer of Hong Kong’s architecture. Raphael Zuber describes a project he developed with students at the Accademia di Architettura di Mendrisio exploring the qualities of a “good” building. CCA’s Sandra Vivanco joins in to add her experiences and insights having taught a Latin American urban summer studio since 2004. Vivanco will discuss the findings of her students’ experiential mappings in Mexico City, Lima, and São Paulo.

Teaching Architecture was presented by the Istituto Svizzero di Roma at the 2010 Venice Architecture Biennale. A series of three dedicated catalogs (Hong Kong Typology, Important Buildings, and Radical Mix), designed by Ludovic Balland, accompanies the exhibition and can be purchased at William Stout Architectural Books during the exhibit’s run.


6.30 pm  doors opens
7:00 pm  introduction and presentations from Christoph Gantenbein, Raphael Zuber, and Sandra Vivanco
8:30 pm  exhibition reception and networking
10:00 pm  doors close


Christoph Gantenbein

Swiss architect Christoph Gantenbein is an Assistant Professor at ETH Zurich and co-founder of Christ & Gantenbein, a firm working on a wide range of projects from private assignments and renovations of historic buildings to houses, office, bridges, and even urban environments. Gantenbein was a guest lecturer between 2004 and 2010 at the Accademia di Architettura Mendrisio in Switzerland and at the Oslo School of Architecture and Design. His firm has won projects and competitions including an invitation to the Ordos 100-Project by Herzog & de Meuron and Ai Weiwei and to the international competition for an extension to Kunstmuseum Basel.


Sandra Vivanco

Sandra Vivanco is an Associate Professor of Architecture and Cultural Diversity at the California College of the Arts and is principal of the San Francisco based firm, A+D, Architecture+Design. Since 2004, she has led two different summer studios in Lima, Perú and São Paulo, Brazil and one semester-long urban studio in Mexico City. Vivanco has authored several articles on Latin American 20th century architecture including chapters in AULA, Baroque New Worlds (Duke University Press) and in Transculturation: Cities, Spaces and Architectures in Latin America (Rodopi Publishers).


Raphael Zuber

Raphael Zuber studied architecture at ETH Zurich. In 2001, he opened a practice with Helena Brobäck in Riva San Vitale and started his own practice in 2003 in Chur, Switzerland. His first major building is
 the Schoolhouse in Grono. Among his major projects are the
 Ethnographic Museum in Neuchâtel and the Living and Storage House in Maienfeld. He taught as a guest lecturer at the Bern University of Applied Sciences in 2006
 and as a guest professor at the Accademia di Architettura di Mendrisio at the Università della Svizzera 
italiana in 2009.

More Info:

Now in its 8th year, the Architecture and the City Festival in San Francisco is the largest architectural festival in the US, showcasing tours, films, exhibitions, lectures, and interactive workshops all over the city. Organized by AIA San Francisco and the Center for Architecture + Design, the 2011 theme, Architecture of Consequence, will demonstrate how progressive design and creative problem solving can address many of our most pressing urban issues, from decreased social cohesion to unsustainable food systems.

The Teaching Architecture exhibition in San Francisco is a project of the U.S.-wide program ThinkSwiss-Brainstorm the Future. As a leading country in science, research, and technology, Switzerland is working with its American counterparts to address key global topics such as sustainability to better understand trends and arrive at solutions.


Photo: Myleen Hollero

Event Photos