What Anchors a House in Itself / Andreas Fuhrimann and Gabrielle Hächler

Architects Andreas Fuhrimann and Gabrielle Hächler recently published a monograph detailing seven buildings and their design philosophy. It is easy to get caught up in the mesmerizing images of this book. With little more than plywood and concrete, they bring spaces to life in a way that few can. They demonstrate how “spatial quality is by no means merely an issue of the materials employed.” That being said, make sure you pull yourself away from the images as the text should not be missed. Besides their own contributions, other authors include, Kurt W. Forster, Marie Theres Stauffer, Gianni Jetzer, and Hubertus Adam.

More on the monograph after the break.

Andreas Fuhrimann and Gabrielle Hächler’s work strives to balance the theoretical with the tangible. Never rigidly tied to a strict design philosophy, they create livable architecture that infuses life into even the most mundane aspects of daily life. At the same time their designs explore grander and more theoretical ideas of design and life. They write, “The oscillations between theoretical considerations (combined with an unceasing sharpening of sensory perception via the surroundings) and a relaxed attunement to life remains an adventurous and highly demanding balancing act that repeatedly needs to be mastered, and which Denise Scott Brown aptly expressed as follows: ‘The architect who cares not at all for context is a boor; the one who cares only for context is a bore.’”

The balancing act theme carries throughout other topics in this book including architectural space, complexity, color and perception. For example, they point out the absurdness of Wittgenstein trying to literately translate the a priori ideas of Tractus Logico-Philosophicus into built materials and architectural forms. They show how the philosopher’s later attempts reflected a more honest approach to architecture, and that is the balance Fuhrimann and Hächler present throughout this book.

Kurt W. Forster’s piece gives a biographical account of Fuhrimann and Hächler. The account makes their work seem like an unavoidable product of their upbringing and family histories, albeit not without the pressures that come with having accomplished sculptors and architects as parents.

In their individual pieces, Marie Theres Stauffer and Ganni Jetzer both focus on Fuhrimann and Hächler’s ability to translate modern and contemporary art into architectural spaces. Rather than a direct translation, Fuhrimann and Hächler’s work acknowledges the parallels and the differences between architecture and art. Like Forster, Stauffer and Jetzer highlight Fuhrimann’s and Hächler’s background and point out the benefit of having clients that are friends within the art community. Jetzer writes, “The fact that artists like to live in their buildings can be seen as a great compliment.”

Hubertus Adam’s writing delves into the everyday quality that often separates Fuhrimann and Hächler’s work from “petrified essentialism that characterizes contemporary Swiss building—an architecture that, cast in concrete, is based on rigid stereometry of archetypical bodies.” He explains that the heavy-handed use of concrete, steel and raw materials commonly lead people to mistakenly lump Fuhrimann and Hächler in this category. Adam’s is able to illustrate why this should not be the case.

Table of Contents:

2/170 Architects’ and Artists’ House on the Üetliberg
22/176 Riesbach Harbor Pavilion
34/180 Holiday House on the Rigi
50/184 House in Central
68/188 Müller Gritsch House
84/192 Presenhuber House
102/196 Cemetery Building Erlenbach
123 Gabrielle Hächler Andreas Fuhrimann Synthesis and Disjuncture
140 Kurt W. Forster Architecture Between Movement and Vision
148 Marie Theres Stauffer on the Boundaries of Architecture
156 Gianni Jetzer on the Permeability of Art and Architecture
162 Hubertus Adam Hybridizations in Various Senses
203 List of Works
214 Biographies

Publisher: Lars Müller Publishers
Copyright: © 2011
ISBN 978-3-03778-240-8
Pages: 216

View Andreas Fuhrimann and Gabrielle Hächler’s projects featured on AD.

Cite: Henry, Christopher. "What Anchors a House in Itself / Andreas Fuhrimann and Gabrielle Hächler" 31 Mar 2011. ArchDaily. Accessed 29 May 2015. <http://www.archdaily.com/?p=124065>
  • Jim Zack

    Where we can we buy this book, in english. It is out of stock form the publisher, not listed on Amazon, etc.


    • http://www.afgh.ch Andreas Fuhrimann

      We will do a reprint, in the next few month.

      Regards Andreas Fuhrimann

  • Frank Lloyd Wright

    Go to the publishers site and find the isbn no. for the English version. Copy this in to amazon uk and there should be copies. It is titled differently with a different cover but it should be the same content.

    I ordered mine!

  • Jim Zack

    Thanks for the idea, I tried using the ISBN no. on the US Amazon site and they do have it, under the different name, but with a long lead time, 2-4 weeks, and a bit cheape

    Fuhrimann Hachler: Parallel of Life and Architecture