Achtung: die Landschaft, A project for the Swiss territory

by · Dec 4, 2014 · 1 502 views ·

In 1955 three Swiss intellectuals, Max Frisch, Lucius Burckhardt und Markus Kutter published Achtung: Die Schweiz, a warning about the increasing sprawl throughout the Swiss landscape and a plea for a new and more controlled level of urbanity in the form of high-density settlements. Fifty-nine years later, the level of alarm against the increasing levels of urban sprawl has not diminished and yet single-family houses and low-density settlements still unabatedly continue to cover the Swiss landscape. The lecture will present the premises and the initial results of the project titled Achtung: die Landschaft, developed since September 2013 at ETH/Studio Basel. Based on this ongoing work, the lecture will attempt at offering a different yet radical alternative to the problems of land, landscape and resources consumption that contemporary forms of urbanization imply. Instead of new dense settlements built outside of the existing cities as advanced in the project of 1955, attention will be shifted towards landschaft –land, landscape and the entire un-built territory as the deliberate choice to be operative within the constraints of a modern democracy and the need to safeguard freedom of the individual for choosing his/her own way of living. Weaving back and forth between the theoretical premises and projective proposals, the lecture will attempt at advancing a new approach towards the transforming Swiss territory, urban sprawl and contemporary processes of urbanization at large. ETH Studio Basel is an institute of urban research set up by architects Roger Diener, Jacques Herzog, Marcel Meili, and Pierre de Meuron in Basel in 1999, as part of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich (ETH) – Department of Architecture, Network City and Landscape. Martino Tattara is a practicing architect and the head of research and teaching at ETH Studio Basel. His theoretical work focuses on the relationship between architecture and large-scale urban design and he has widely published and lectured on topics related to the project of the city. He is the co-founder of Dogma, a practice based in Brussels (Belgium).

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