The first peer-reviewed publication from our research project 'Urban densification and its impact on the energy consumption of Swiss cities' (StaVerdi) is now available online. Since 2019, we have been investigating the urban densification of urban estates and neighbourhoods and their impact on the overall energy demand together with the Urban Energy Systems Lab of EMPA and KCAP Zurich. The research project 'Urban densification and its impact on the energy use in Swiss cities' is funded by the Swiss Federal Office of Energy. The project results are intended to support spatial and urban planning decision-making processes in Switzerland.
The first apartments at Klosterstrasse 9 have been sold, and construction work began with the groundbreaking at the beginning of May. All flats and terraced houses will be ready for occupancy in summer 2023 (Photo: Sandra Bockstaller).
Together with the research and consulting company econcept, we developed an effective, communal sustainability concept for the city of Lichtensteig. The town has set itself three goals: social participation, local production, and resilient ecosystems. These are taken into account at the municipal level in investments, construction projects, procurement, mobility, and energy. In addition, the city of Lichtensteig provides its residents and entrepreneurs with checklists that enable a quick and easy assessment of a project, a plan, or a budget decision.
On September 27, 2020, the voters of Zug approved the project loan to construct a new recycling center in the Göbli area by over 88 percent. Construction work has now begun: The City of Zug as the developer and the future users - the Brockenhaus of the Frauenzentrale and the Gemeinnützige Gesellschaft Zug - jointly celebrated the groundbreaking ceremony for the new building on March 9, 2021. The new recycling center will be ready for use in autumn 2022 (image: Stefan Kaiser, Zug).
Michael Wagner will give a lecture for the students of the module Territorial Transformation at the Vienna University of Technology on 17 March about the upgrading of living conditions through urban developments in sparsely populated regions of Switzerland.
Jil completed her architecture studies with a diploma at ETH Zurich in the studio of Prof. Anne Lacaton. She studied one semester at the Tokyo Institute of Technology and completed internships in Zurich with Planwerkstadt and Haerle Hubacher Architekten. After graduating, she worked for Hauser Meier Architects. Welcome to our team.
Today, in the bright sunshine, we were led through the EPI site in Zürich's Lengg district. Together with Ganz Landschaftsarchitekten, we are one of three teams commissioned to develop a testing design concept for the entire area. We are looking forward to this task!
In the coming weeks, the sale of apartments and terraced houses at Klosterstrasse 9 in Griessen will start. Check out some of the visualisations created for this purpose on our website. We are looking forward to continuing work on the construction project.
Michael Wagner, together with Miriam Jack (architecture) and Raphael Gloor (landscape), was a member of the jury for the selective project competition on the replacement of a residential building at Mühlehaldenstrasse in Dietikon (ZH) on behalf of the Dietikon Protestant Church.
Michael Wagner gave a one-day workshop on 'Regenerative Landscapes' as an external lecturer at the Institute of Architecture and Spatial Development at the University of Liechtenstein for the students of Vera Kaps' and Urs Egg's Advanced Studio Landscape. Many thanks for the invitation!
This week, Michael Wagner was a guest critic in the master studio of Thomas Hildebrand (hildebrand.ch) and Peter Jenni (jenniarchitektur.ch) at the ZHAW Urban Landscape Institute. It was an inspiring day with the students and the other invited guest critics Oliver Strässle (Stadtraum und Architektur, Amt für Städtebau Winterthur), Regula Iseli (architect, lecturer and head of the Institute Urban Landscape ZHAW) and Ruedi Häfliger (traffic engineer, lecturer at the Institute Urban Landscape ZHAW). Many thanks for the invitation.
Yesterday the first public workshop on the future spatial development strategy of Lichtensteig took place. We are pleased that our ideas from the past few months were received so positively. (Image: Martin Knoepfel, Tagblatt 20.08.2020)
Team excursion to visit the almost completed construction site of the Rudolf Steiner School in Winterthur. Many thanks to Laura and Meret for your great effort and dedication during all of the planning!
For the site of the former Uznaberg spinning mill in Uznach (SG), a feasibility study was prepared by the Zurich office of sa-partners in the course of a three-stage workshop procedure. The landowner, together with a representative of the municipality and the experts involved, developed a vision for the future and principles for the development of the site in line with the overall objectives of the municipality of Uznach. Michael Wagner was a member of the evaluating panel together with Pierre Feddersen (spatial planning), Guido Hager (landscape) and Simon Seger (transport).
Today, the Grand Municipal Council of the City of Zug approved the project loan for the new construction of the recycling center by 29 to 5 votes. The joint venture between Ökihof, Brockenhaus and GGZ@Work, a social enterprise of the Gemeinnützige Gesellschaft Zug, is intended to create a future-oriented recycling department store, where people can dispose of, repair, exchange and shop. The "multifunctional center for ecological and social sustainability" was particularly praised for its urban integration and the use of wood as a building material for the workshop.
We are pleased to be able to submit the application for the building permit this summer. The people will have the ultimate say: The public vote, originally planned for 17 May, will probably take place in September due to the COVID-19 pandemic. If the population supports the project, construction will start next year to make the new recycling centre available to all inhabitants of Zug from autumn/winter 2022.
Since the end of March, Michael Wagner has been giving the urban planning lecture at ETH Zurich in front of empty seats. As all ETH buildings are closed due to the COVID-10 pandemic, only the basic lectures may be recorded there. All lectures are also streamed live for the students at home.
In the spring semester of 2020, Michael Wagner and the architect Nadine Jerchau-Gay will give a seminar on urban analysis at the Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts. The seminar is entitled 'An der Umfahrungsstrasse' (Along the bypass road) whereby students explore the productive urban landscape in the valley of the Kleine Emme and create short film portraits of selected protagonists on site. The works will be presented at the HSLU in May 2020. (image: Fahrni/Pavic/Schlapbach, 2020)
As part of the series 'CA Positions' of the Department of Design and Art at the Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts, Michael Wagner gave a talk about the challenges and potentials of imaging urban landscapes.
Today Michael Wagner gave an introductory lecture and a workshop on photography of urban landscapes for the students of the BA Visual Communication - Camera Arts at the Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts in Emmenbrücke.
Today Michael Wagner was invited as guest critic by Professor Annette Spiro in the design studio Fatti Urbani am See. Together with Annette Spiro, Daniel Ganz and the assistants Rosário Gonçalves, Daan Koch, Nicole Leuthold, Elizaveta Radi and Florian Schrott we discussed the students' urban design projects. It was an inspiring afternoon!
Our team is growing. Sophia Disiou graduated in architecture at the National Technical University of Athens (NTUA). After an internship with Burkhalter Sumi Architects, she also completed an internship with us from 2016 to 2017. In the meantime, she has worked as a design architect at Unit Architects. Now Sophia is back in our team. Welcome again.
«How and where the energy transition begins (...) Zernez is kind of everywhere at the moment». Paul Knüsel reports in detail on the Zernez Energia 2020 project in TEC21 this week, thank you very much! The guideline and the action plan, which Michael Wagner was allowed to help develop at ETH Zurich, are available for free download in the ETH online library:
Our team is growing. We welcome Laura Hänni, who joined us in June. Laura studied and graduated with Prof. Tom Emerson at the ETH Zurich. Since then she has worked for various architectural firms in London, including We Made That, Adam Khan architects and 6a architects.
Over the next two years we will investigate the urban densification of urban estates and neighbourhoods and their impact on the total energy demand together with the Urban Energy Systems Lab of the EMPA and KCAP Zürich. The research project 'Urban densification and its impact on energy use in Swiss cities' is funded by the Swiss Federal Office of Energy. The project results are intended to support spatial and urban planning decision-making processes in Switzerland.
In the article 'Rurbanitas: On the Creation of Urban Qualities in Rural Areas' which is published in 'GAM.15 - Territorial justice' by Jovis Verlag, Michael Wagner uses the example of the municipality of Lichtensteig to illustrate how a high quality of life can be created and maintained even in a less densely populated and structurally disadvantaged area.
In the winter of 2018/19, Michael Wagner was invited as a guest reviewer for the masters' thesis graduates at the University of Liechtenstein. As part of this year's motto, 'Upcycling', the students dealt with projects on different scales in Vaduz, Balzers and Feldkirch.
During his presentation at the 1st Swiss Landscape Congress 2018 in Lucerne, Michael Wagner courageously pleaded for an integral planning approach for the further development and transformation of the cultural landscape.
To further strengthen our team, we are looking for a motivated architect (60-100%) to work on ambitious projects, execution planning and competitions from September 2018 or by appointment.
You are an open, motivated, reliable and independent person with great architectural interest and commitment. You are familiar with the common drawing, layout, image and word processing programs (Vectorworks, InDesign, Photoshop, Office, etc.) and have a good command of written and spoken German. You communicate independently with entrepreneurs and the authorities.
We offer a diverse and challenging working environment with projects for public and private clients. We promote a self-reliant way of working and open communication and value fair working conditions. We are looking forward to receiving your application with curriculum vitae by email to
Serena Keller joined our team in July 2018. She studies architecture at the University of Liechtenstein and is also working there as a student assistant at the Institute for Architecture and Spatial Development. Welcome!
The student council of the University of Liechtenstein has nominated Michael Wagner for the Best Teaching Award and the Mentoring Prize, which is awarded by the students to a member of the University for special commitment and dedication for the students. The award ceremony will take place at this year's Dies Academicus on 9 June.
To further strengthen our team, we are looking for a motivated trainee for challenging projects and competitions from July 2018 or by appointment for at least six months.
You are an open, motivated, reliable and independent person with great architectural interest and commitment. You have studied architecture for at least four semesters, have good Vectorworks knowledge, model building experience and good German language skills.
We offer a diverse and challenging work environment with projects for public and private clients that give you the opportunity to gain insight into different project phases. We promote a self-reliant way of working and open communication and value fair working conditions. We are looking forward to receiving your portfolio with CV (max. 10 MB) by email to
Although our competition entry for the redesign of Winkelriedplatz in Basel, which we submitted together with Heinrich Landschaftsarchitektur, was shortlisted by the jury, it was not ranked in the end. We congratulate the team of the landscape architecture office Franz Reschke from Berlin on the first place.
In cooperation with Hasler Schlatter Partner, we have won the selection procedure for the renovation and conversion of 36 cooperative apartments of the Zielacker building cooperative in Frauenfeld. In the properties built at the end of the 1970s, the bathrooms and kitchens will be renovated and the access adapted to the needs of the elderly and handicapped.
Between 2013 and 2015, the municipality of Zumikon (ZH) carried out a stakeholder-based planning process to develop a robust development strategy with a strategic framework plan. The professorship for architecture and urban design of Prof. Kees Christiaanse actively supported the municipality. In the current volume of the French-Swiss magazine "Les Cahiers de 'ASPAN" on projects in the context of the new Spatial Planning Act, Michael Wagner has summarized the process.
In the competition for the contribution of the Principality of Liechtenstein to the 16th Architecture Biennale 2018 in Venice, our contribution 'Agorabundance' came in second place. We have proposed to address the issue of dealing with public space in urban landscapes and we hope to be able to work on the topic, which we consider to be burning, in a different context.
Our contribution to the competition for revitalising and redesigning the village center of Au in the Canton of St. Gallen, which we submitted together with Heinrich Landschaftsarchitektur, was awarded fifth place. We congratulate the Gonçalves/Hausheer team on the first place.
For the book launch of 'Unguided Road Trip' at the bookstore 'Never Stop Reading' in Zurich on 12.09.2017, Michael Wagner talked with the photographer Roland Iselin about man-made landscapes. The panel discussion was moderated by Nadine Olonetzky.
In the winter semester 2017/2018, Michael Wagner will be teaching an urban design studio for the future spatial development of the municipality of Lichtensteig (SG) as a guest lecturer in the bachelor's programme of the Institute for Architecture and Spatial Development at the University of Liechtenstein.
Our competition entry for a new administration building in the government district of Frauenfeld reached the third round (15 out of 98 submitted projects) but was not ranked. We congratulate the team of Gäumann Lüdi von der Ropp from Zurich on their first place.
Milo Strub joined our team in August 2017. He studied architecture at the ETH Zurich, completed internships at blue architects in Zurich and noAarchitecten (Philippe Viérin, An Fonteyne, Jitse van den Berg) in Brussels and was student assistant at the chair for architecture and urban design of Prof. Kees Christiaanse at the ETH Zurich. Welcome!
Our competition entry 'Garde du Nord' for the construction of a new fire brigade station in the north of Zurich has been awarded third place. We congratulate the team of Enzmann Fischer Architects to the first place.
Radio report from 20 September 2016 on the development strategy for the municipality of Zumikon, accompanied by Michael Wagner and Nicolas Kretschmann from the Chair of Architecture and Urban Planning of Prof. Kees Christiaanse at ETH Zurich from 2013 to 2015.
Sophia Disiou joined our team in September 2016. She studied architecture in Athens and has been living in Zurich since the beginning of 2016, where she has already completed an internship with Burkhalter Sumi Architekten. Welcome!
For the Zurich Council of the Reformed Evangelical Church, we have prepared a potential analysis of the properties around St. Matthew Church in District 11. Our study variants now serve as the basis for decisions on how to proceed.
Out of the 57 entries submitted for the redesign of Bahnhofstrasse and Theatherplatz in Lucerne, our contribution submitted with Heinrich Landschaftsarchitektur (lead) and Ballmer Partner AG was ranked 7th.
Together with Ressegatti Thalmann, we achieved 3rd place in the competition for the construction of a new maintenance depot in Sissach (BL). We would like to thank Pirmin Jung Ingenieure for their dedicated support in timber construction and Oppliger Baumanagement for their calculations.
Michael Wagner attended the international conference' Ruralism. The Future of Villages and Small Towns in an Urbanizing World' organized by the Institute for Sustainable Urban Development at the TU Braunschweig and presented the project 'Zernez Energia 2020' by the Chair Christiaanse of ETH Zurich on 18 November 2015.
Together with Salewski & Kretz, Zeugin Gölker, Christian Ruppanner and Cathy van Eck, we participated in the second phase of the concept competition for Expo2027 Bodensee-Ostschweiz with the contribution TERRA FUTURA. Unfortunately, another concept convinced the jury more: Congratulations to the team of Hosoya Schaefer Architects.
We are now working at Schanzengraben 15 in 8002 Zurich. Our office is located on the second floor with a view over the treetops, together with Hasler Schlatter Partner and Karin Schiesser. We are looking forward to your visit.
For the Reformed Evangelical Church of Industrie Zurich, we have investigated various properties for their structural condition and prepared a potential analysis as a decision basis for refurbishments and building replacements.
The TERRA FUTURA concept proposal, which we submitted together with Salewski & Kretz, Zeugin Gölker, CR Communication and Cathy van Eck to the Expo2027 concept competition in eastern Switzerland, was selected from 59 entries together with nine others for the second competition phase. We are very much looking forward to further processing.
At the end of November 2014, we completed the conversion work on an apartment building in Winterthur within the expected budget. Two apartments of the house, built in 1926, were combined and the technical infrastructure was completely renewed.
In cooperation with Heinrich Landschaftsarchitektur we submitted a competition entry for the construction of a new Fishery Center in Steinach (SG) at Lake Constance. The project was unfortunately not ranked. We congratulate the team around Aeschlimann Hasler Partner Architekten on the first place.
Last week we started work on the conversion of a multi-family dwelling in Winterthur. Two apartments of the house, built in 1926, are combined and the technical infrastructure is completely renewed. The expected move-in date is November.
In the summer semester of 2014, Michael Wagner holds the Agenda Lehre Guest Professorship at the Chair for Sustainable Urbanism at the Technical University of Munich, where he is developing the focus on' SYNERGIA: cooperations for regenerative territories' as a strategic approach to the sustainable development of the territory with MA Arch and Msc ULS students.
Our competition entry for the new fire brigade and police station in Wil (SG) won 2nd prize (in cooperation with Marcella Ressegatti). Thanks to Fabian Bircher for the successful visualization and congratulations to Franziska Manetsch and Lukas Meyer on the 1st prize.
Since February 2013, Michael Wagner holds the urban design lecture series 'Design and strategies in urban space' for the 3rd year course at the Institute for Urban Design at ETH Zurich, together with Prof. Kees Christiaanse. Since June 2012, he has been head of the research platform' Cultural Landscape', which focusses on local and urban design challenges in the less to medium densely populated areas.
Michael Wagner was interviewed by the journalist Jessica Bridgers on the subject of the urban-rural continuum in Switzerland for the programme 'City myths' on 21 February 2013 by Monocle's online radio station. The interview (15:43 - 18:20) has been published in the series' The Urbanist' and can be listened to online (sequence from 12:40 - 20:35).
We are pleased that the renovation work on the semi-detached house in Winterthur's workers' housing estate Toess was completed as planned and thank all entrepreneurs for their commitment. The owner family moved in in December 2011.
From May to November 2011, Michael Wagner headed the planning part of an interdisciplinary team under the leadership of blue architects. The test planning for the development of a densification strategy for a garden city neighborhood from the 1950s included the replacement of the largest cooperative housing estate in the city of Zurich. In cooperation with Antón Ghiggi Landscape Architects, Dr. Philipp Klaus (Inura Institut Zürich), Prof. Mark Michaeli (TU Munich) and Ruprecht Architects Zurich.
Raphael Vanzella and Michael Wagner have been working closely together since their studies. After several years of professional experience at renowned architectural offices in Zurich and Berne and several smaller projects which they have been able to realize themselves in the meantime, they have decided to work with each other in the future.