‘Vilanova Artigas: Drawing Models’ at Architekturforum Zurich

Artigas, Casa Elza Berquó, Sao Paolo, 1967

Architekturforum Zurich is showing the extraordinarily extensive drawing work of Brazilian architect João Batista Vilanova Artigas (1915 Curitiba –1985 São Paulo). Selected original working drawings and sketches sheds light on the drawing practice of the mid-century Brazilian modernist Artigas. The drawings and sketches are accompanied by present-day photographs of the finished buildings designed by Artigas: Photographer Ciro Miguel shows the built legacy, which in some case has been acclaimed and in other given over to ruin, now the remembrance of a utopia.

The exhibition was organized and curated by Letizia Jones, Guillaume Othenin-Girard and Nemanja Zimonjic of TEN, an association of architects and researchers based in Zurich, in cooperation with Marco Artigas and the Artigas Archives at the University of São Paulo School of Architecture and Urbanism (FAU/USP).

24 November 2022 – 27 January 2023

Architekturforum Zurich, Zollstrasse 115, 8005 Zurich

Exhibition hours:
Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday 12 – 6 p.m.
Thursday 2– 8 p.m.
Saturday 11a.m. – 5 p.m.



Outdoor laboratory in the wood

Photo: Serena Neuenschwander

In the spring we inoculated 10 logs with mushroom mycelium. We placed them in the ground at the edge of the wood that is directly next to our studio. For Ganz Landscape Architects, this is an attempt to learn more about edible mushrooms and their growth. Happily, of the 10 types of mushrooms that we are experimenting with, some have become established, including, in the grassy area, the popular parasol mushrooms. Just recently, at the end of October, we harvested the first sheathed woodtuft mushrooms, which grow here in forests on stumps of hardwood trees and sometimes on conifer wood.



On the scene at the construction site

Photo: Sophie von Schwerin

The Ganz Landscape Architects studio together made visits to three construction sites in Zurich. Being on site gave us an idea of the progress of the landscaping at the Allmend school complex in Zurich, Hofacker school complex and the Parkend residential buildings at Hottingerplatz. With their professional expertise, landscape architects Martin Aeschbacher and Paul Junker explained the finer points of the workmanship. Construction sites always function as a kind of laboratory for exploration and discovery. Materials become tangible, and construction techniques become feasible. The field trip, which was at short notice and spontaneous, was altogether valuable and enriching for us all.   



Archaic beauty

Just recently we took another look at the small garden courtyard in the Alpgut row of houses in Winterthur that Ganz Landscape Architects completed about two years ago. For the planting composition that we had aimed for we took inspiration from self-taught French painter Henri Rousseau.  

Particularly beautiful are the seed heads of the richly textured plants in late summer shortly before the leaves change colour. The lush planting composition creates a picture of archaic beauty that is evocative of a paradise-like dream landscape. Creating changing views across the seasons is the art of composition.


David Hockney, Moving Focus

The focus is always moving in the work of David Hockney (*1937), and, irrespective of the medium, he is constantly reinventing himself. The retrospective held currently at the Museum of Arts Lucerne presents works from 1954 to 2018 and is well worth seeing. As landscape architects, we are especially fascinated by Hockney’s early landscapes in acrylic.  The abstract landscape paintings are captivating with their vibrant and pure colour compositions.

David Hockney ‘Moving Focus’ through 30 October 2022

Tuesday, Thursday to Sunday, 10 am – 6 pm
Wednesday 10 am – 7 pm
Monday closed

Kunstmuseum Luzern
Europaplatz 1
6002 Lucerne
Tel. +41 41 226 78 00


Ganz Landscape Architects in Waldviertel

Photo: Piero Maspoli

‘Landscape and craftmanship, art and food’ is the theme of our excursion this year from 21–25 September.

The artist Piero Maspoli will guide us through his Waldviertel (a region in Lower Austria), where he lives and works. We will explore the baroque city of St. Pölten, tour the museum in Krems, meet artist Daniel Spörri, famous for his ‘Eat Art’ and tableaux-pièges (literally canvas-traps), and enjoy a meal at his eatery. In Gmünd we will visit the Glas- und Steinmuseum, and in Rapšach in the Czech Republic, we will visit a ceramics workshop. On an extended walking tour in the Blockheide Nature Park near Gmünd we will see the variety of the landscape, which includes a quarry that we will visit.


Serena Neuenschwander

`The Garden` at the chair of Tom Emerson, ETH Zurich

Serena Neuenschwander joined our team on 5 September 2022. She is currently studying for a Master’s degree in landscape architecture at ETH Zurich and is an architect. Already during her architecture studies she took up the new profession by participating in the process-oriented project ‘The Garden’ at the Chair of Prof. Tom Emerson at ETH Zurich.

For her external internship for the Master’s degree Serena Neuenschwander will work at Ganz Landscape Architects for the next six months and assist in various projects. We are very pleased to be working together and look forward to learning from each other.  


Die Organisation der Leere [The Organisation of Emptiness]

In the exhibition “The Organisation of Emptiness – With Jürg Altherr through the Archive for Swiss Landscape Architecture (ASLA)” sculptures and open space design projects from the estate of artist and garden designer Jürg Altherr are juxtaposed with exhibits from the Archive for Swiss Landscape Architecture (ASLA) in Rapperswil on Albert Baumann, Ernst Cramer, Verena Dubach and Willi Neukom, among others.

03 September - 16 October 2022

Friday, 2 September, 6 p.m.
Welcome by Christa Gebert
Introduction by Irene Grillo (Curator GSfK)
and Sophie von Schwerin (Curator ASLA)

Public tour
With Johanna Altherr (Jürg Altherr estate) and
Sophie von Schwerin
Saturday, 1 October, 2 p.m.

Opening hours
Wednesdays, 12 to 6 p.m. / Saturdays and Sundays, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and by appointment

Alte Fabrik Rapperswil
Klaus Gebert-Strasse 5
8640 Rapperswil SG
Tel. +41 (0)55 210 51 54


The beauty of catastrophe

Photo: Laura Schwerzmann

It has never been so dry in Europe as it has been for the last five years. In many places, the drought has led to forest fires, which spread so fast that they endanger people and animals. Still, in most forest biomes in the world, fire is an important ecological factor that promotes natural rejuvenation and makes it possible for pioneer plants to germinate. Forest fires are part of the natural process of ecological succession. For instance, giant sequoia trees disperse their seeds to the forest floor only after a forest fire, when sufficient space has opened up for young trees. This is an example of some plants‘ (pyrophytes) adaptation to the catastrophe of forest fires and its importance in the natural regeneration of the forest.



Closed for summer holidays

Sunday dinner, Santa Maria de Palautordera/ Barcelona

Ganz Landscape Architects will have summer holidays from 25th July to 5th August 2022. During this time we will be working with a reduced staff. The entire team will be back at work for you on 8th August 2022.



Poto: Sarah-Louise Dechow

A new wall encloses the small garden on Zollikerstrasse in Zurich. With great patience, the craftsmen lay brick after brick. This hand-eye coordination requires the greatest concentration, which is reflected in their outstanding craftsmanship.

Ganz Landscape Architects dress the hortus conclusus with lushly flowering vegetation. The seemingly random arrangement of the plants is carefully designed to be the most pleasing to the human eye.


Fountain for the new Uri Cantonal Hospital in Atdorf

Just a few days ago, the fountain was put into position. Thanks to perfect logistical planning, the undertaking went very well. The fountain, which is approximately 5 metres in size and 16 tons in weight, now adorns the new main entrance to the cantonal hospital. The elegant fountain has a lightweight appearance and fits naturally into the new context.



‘Cold Sophia’ in Sanssouci

Orangerie Sanssouci at Potsdam near Berlin

Warm temperatures in May are not unusual. Still, when planting out tender plants, it’s worth paying attention to the days of the ‘Ice Saints’, which can bring late spring frosts. Farmers‘ almanac wisdom says that mild spring weather becomes stable and steady only after May 15, the feast day for St. Sophia, nicknamed Cold Sophia (German Kalte Sophie), when ground frosts will no longer endanger spring sowings.

Cold Sophia is traditionally moving day at Sanssouci Park in Potsdam. It’s the day when the potted plants are brought out of the wintering halls of the Orangery and placed outside on the terraces. This took place again this year last Sunday, 15 May!


Hospital park, Altdorf

Landscape architect Paul Junker on the construction site together with the gardeners of Markus Enz AG

Our designs for the new park at Uri Cantonal Hospital in Altdorf are taking shape. As a first step last fall, the gardeners installed the alpine garden on the roof of the hospital. It takes its inspiration from the surrounding alpine landscape and local mountain, Uri Rotstock. The lush vegetation with alpine roses, mountain alders and Swiss mountain pines, enhanced with a species-rich herbaceous layer, became well established within a short time. And now also the landscape park design is taking shape. The pathways have been built, the varied topography has been formed, and stone sculptures by Markus Kummer have been placed. A few days ago, Zurich artist Annemarie Oechslin completed her artistic contribution of inlays in the paving alongside the pathways. Together, the various park elements ultimately come together to form an overall picture that everyone is looking forward to, especially when the plant material completes the total composition in the autumn.



Interview with Daniel Ganz

Space, the international magazin for landscape architecture and urbanism, is asking Daniel Ganz about his motives, examples and sources of inspiration. The interview can be read in the spring edition of the digital magazin 01/22.

Interview: PDF Download


Five Trees for five women in Bosnia and Herzegovina

TEN Architecture Studio is building a house for five women in a rural area near Gradacac in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Iranian artist Shirana Shahbazi, who lives in Zurich, is developing the colour concept for the building, and Ganz Landscape Architects is responsible for the exterior space. For the design of the grounds, a natural integration in the landscape context is important. A few days ago, we placed and planted the plant material on the building site. In addition to maple trees providing shade in front of the house, we also planted a walnut tree next to what will be a vegetable garden. Single women from the area will move into the house in the middle of this year.



Note to Monograph `Ganz`

Like an artist’s studio – Jürg Altherr’s comes to mind – the whole of Ganz’s gardener's soul is revealed at Susenberg: the love for plants that live together, only apparently chaotically, in this green idyll. In presenting his own garden, a window was opened for me into Ganz as landscape architect.
Manuel Peer, Landschaftsarchitekt BSLA

Order Monograph `Ganz`
RIBA Books London
AA Bookshop London


“Nibble garden” on the roof

For the replacement construction of the PWG Foundation‘s Flüelastrasse Commercial Building in Zurich, Ganz Landscape Architects, together with  BS + EMI Architects, are developing a lush “nibble garden” on the roof. As an identity-granting intervention, the roof garden will be for joint use by all. A green space for people to experience, it will be a high-quality environment for spending time, with common areas as well as retreat niches. Great value is placed on ecological aspects like biodiversity and structural diversity. The wicker baskets represent the dynamic rhythms of nature, as they will decompose over the years. These oversized, woven “fruit baskets” stand on a mineral carpet of irregularly-shaped sandstone slabs laid on a gravel lawn. Shrub-like fig trees, persimmon and quince trees, and other fruits will be companion planted with a variety of berry bushes and herbs. A selection of wild roses and herbaceous ornamentals will complement the lush vegetation.



First Prize for `Haus am Weg’

We are very pleased that our project proposal on the team of Atelier Scheidegger Keller Architects for the new construction of the Wechselwiese property in Zürich-Schwamendingen of the Rotach building society was recommended for further processing and execution.

The very small outdoor area will be created as a lush, densely grown garden to maximise the space. A pathway with intermittent small seating areas leads to the building. To compensate for the lack of outdoor common areas on the ground floor, our proposal includes a green roof landscape. Large-leafed shrubs, needled tamarisks, fragrant roses, delicate grasses and colourful flowering perennials will flourish in a gravel garden and provide an oasis for people and animals. The planting, rich in species and in structure, provides a new habitat for species specific to the area. Various seating areas provided for the residents strengthen a sense of community. The jury gave high marks to the attractive communal roof terrace, stating that it creates the pleasure of living in the garden city.



Note to Monograph `Ganz`

The book is great! Stimulating, many-layered, independent and sensitive, it provides insights into a world that makes you want to discover more (l'avventura di guardare comincia...).
Manuel Scholl, Architect ETHZ, Zurich

Order Monograph `Ganz`
RIBA Books London
AA Bookshop London



Tree planting success!

Planting trees for four days was a great success. Over the last few days, 50 persons, mostly friends of the client, with their families planted more than 100 heirloom fruit trees on the meadow land of Ober-Wartenfluh on Lake Lucerne. Following the design plans by Ganz Landscape Architects and with some tweaks made during the planning process, the different varieties of apple and pear trees were placed in a way that ensures optimum orchard management in the future. Approximately 30 walnut trees were also planted. The newly planted trees are currently being pruned for the first time; this will ensure their healthy development in future.



Note to Monograph `Ganz`

The photographs of the gardens, such those as Carl Jung's garden, reveal the world’s changeability through its seasonal cycles of time. The thin layer of snow that covers all the garden’s forms veils something intimate: the garden is animated and eroticised, like one of Lucas Cranach’s paintings of Venus, whose body is lightly shrouded by a gossamer veil, arousing more desire than her naked form alone. Sounds are muffled by the veil of snow. There is a smell of winter and it’s soft underfoot.
Prof. Marco Bakker, Architekt, EPFL Lausanne

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Orchard planting for a compartmentalized landscap

Ganz Landscape Architects is developing a development plan for the structured fields of Ober-Wartenfluh in Lucerne. As a part of a historical cultivated landscape, the 4 hectares of meadow land will be planted with approximately 100 heirloom standard fruit trees. In addition, the plan provides for the planting of a grove of walnut trees as well as an avenue of maple trees leading to the old coaching inn at Ober-Wartenfluh. The culverted stream that runs through the meadow land will be opened up and upgraded ecologically by creating a meandering stream with flat edge zones. The shore vegetation on the banks of Lake Lucerne will be enriched through replantings and will offer valuable habitat with high biodiversity for animals.    


Note to Monograph `Ganz`

The book is so unlike the other monographs: poetic, sensual, sensitive but also stimulating and informative. It is a pleasure to peruse and continually tempts you to delve into it.
Christian Stern, Landscape Architect BSLA SIA, Küsnacht ZH

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