Urban Codes and Urban Forms: The Case of Zurich / Call for papers

Lintheschergasse School building, gymnasium with
Lintheschergasse School building, gymnasium with "baugespann" and "Globusprovisorium." Zurich, 1958 Source: Baugeschichtliches Archiv der Stadt Zürich. Reference: BAZ_087424

Accademia di architettura

25 Giugno 2024

“Urban Codes and Urban Forms: The Case of Zurich”

27 November 2024, ETH Zurich
Call for papers


The impact that building codes have on urban and architectural development in contemporary Zurich seems obvious, but this reciprocity did not always exist. Cities and their building codes have grown and evolved simultaneously. Through codes (local, cantonal, and federal) there has been a desire from time to time to regulate the technical and economic aspects of the construction industry and to control urban growth, to define a precise aesthetic of urban space, and to ensure citizens’ safety. In this process, codes have been influenced by the existing built environment and have, in turn, influenced it from the architectural to the territorial scale.

This colloquium aims at investigating how rules and regulations have influenced the outlook and character of urban spaces in Zurich. We welcome contributions that depart both form the codes and from the built environment to expose their interdependencies.

We are interested in how regulation influenced the historical development of housing but also spaces of work (offices, factories, and workshops), education (schools, kindergartens, and universities), and leisure (parks and sport facilities). We also aim to explore the relationship between codes regulating mobility (automobility, public transport, railways) and the making of urban spaces.

Against this background we invite a broad variety of papers, which will be presented as 20 min talks on a colloquium held at ETH Hönggerberg on 27 November 2024. The colloquium aims to create an inventory of various ways to understand the interdependency of urban codes and urban forms in Zurich. It is our intention to gather the contributions to the colloquium in a book to be published at the end of 2025.

If you are interested, please submit an abstract (300 words and a short bio of 100 words) at this link by the 15th of September 2024. Papers can be presented in German or English. The main colloquium language will be English.

Scientific committee:

  • Tom Avermaete (gta, Institute for the History and Theory of Architecture ETH Zurich)
  • Irina Davidovici (gta Archives, ETH Zurich)
  • Jonathan Sergison (Institute of Urban and Landscape Studies, USI)
  • Giulia Scotto (Institute of Urban and Landscape Studies,USI),
  • Sanna Kattenbeck (gta, Institute for the History and Theory of Architecture ETH Zurich)
  • Miriam Stierle (Institute of Urban and Landscape Studies, USI).