Street view of the housing estate Wasserwerk II, undated, Visionäre Gärten

Ernst Cramer context-related design in his early work is impressive. His precise elaboration of terraces and slopes/embankments creates attractive spaces within the expansive garden area. By incorporating the green space around the Limmat, the gardens appear to extend to the banks of the river. This garden design, executed with great attention to detail, is a prime example of Swiss garden design in the early post-war period.
In an article titled ‘Wohnbau und Grünflächen' [housing buildings and green spaces] in the magazine Werk in 1950, Willy Rotzler wrote very fittingly and with a view to the landscape design at the Wasserwerk housing estate: “We have no wish to hide the fact: Inherent in all of our attempts to increase and improve green spaces, there is a certain romantic yearning for what has been lost, the romantic dream of a life in the middle of nature, from which modern life has largely estranged us. Romanticism per se is neither good nor bad; the question is only in what way we succumb to it. Housing with a lot of green space is not the worst form of escape from the inhospitableness of everyday life and work in the cities”.

Expert's report