Interview in Domus China


Markus Schaefer was interviewed by Brendan McGetrick for Domus China.

“Ten years into the new century, large parts of the world seem to be coalescing into two distinct but not completely dissimilar camps, neither of which appears to have much need for architects. On one side, in the developing world, years of rural-to-urban migration is producing cities without urban plans or architectural oversight, ad-hoc megalopolises that mutate according to need, independent of the infrastructure once considered essential to urban life. On the other, in world’s most modern societies, the importance of the built environment is steadily diminishing as new technologies entice more and more residents into a virtual realm that requires no physical proximity and minimal physical infrastructure. In both cases, the notion of the architect as an essential member of society, a provider of shelter and urban coherency, is growing more tenuous.

China, as is often pointed out, has a foot in each camp. It is simultaneously poor and rich, developed and developing. Here the architect is ascendent; his services are needed and, for the most part, appreciated. But for how long can this continue? How long before China’s architects face the threat of irrelevancy that now confronts their peers abroad?

For its 2010 interview series, Domus China will examine how developments in technology, ecology, and politics will alter the way cities work. Over the next twelve months we will speak with scientists and urbanists, academics, entrepreneurs, and inventors. The conversations will vary in subject but will retain a single focus: the future of architecture and urban life. Our hope is that, by imagining radical change advance, architects can prepare themselves. By focusing on current innovations and future forecasts, we can make change less surprising, develop strategies, and recognize modernity’s inevitable disruptions as a source of opportunity rather than pain.” Brendan McGetrick

Domus China, no. 049, December 2010, p. 112-129



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Current state: framework plan

Haus Myrte, Wädenswil, 2022 –
Current phase: tender

House Renovation, Geneva, 2021 –
Current phase: ongoing

Airport Engadin, St. Moritz, 2020 –
Current phase: construction project

Cooperative Housing, Wetzikon, 2020 –
Current phase: tender, 2020 –
Current phase: Project phases design to operation

ZHA, Boulevard, Hönggerberg Campus, 2020 –
Current state: ongoing (with Studio Vulkan)

Wilhelmsburg Rowing Club, 2020 –
Current phase: execution planning

Primary School Christoph Merian, Basel, 2019 –
Current phase: construction project

Station Square and Roof, Herisau 2015 –
Current phase: tender

MEWA-Areal, Wädenswil, 2018 –
Transformation Project from the former industrial estate to the mixed-use development with housing
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Viererfeld, Bern, 2018 –
Current phase: on hold

Urban Design

Bahnhof Romanshorn, 2022 –
Current state: study (with Sudio Vulkan)

Kaserne Aarau, 2022 –
Current state: urban framework

Areale Wittenbach, 2022 –
Current state: urban design commission

Stiftungsareal Neumünster, 2022 –
Current state: study

Kieler Schloss, 2022 –
Current state: Public think tank on usage and architecture

Campus Heidelberg, 2021 –
Current state: Masterplan process, in-depth studies

Otterbach Süd, 2020 –
Current state: urban framework plan

Innovation Park Bergedorf, 2020 –
Current state: urban framework

Station Area Dietikon, 2019 –
Current state: urban framework plan

Campus Bochum, 2018 –
Current state: project support

Metalli, Zug, 2017 –
Current state: project support

Bahnstadt Nürtingen, 2017 –
Current state: project support

Areal Neugasse Zürich, 2016 –
Current state: completion of master plan, public consultation

Elbinselquartier Wilhelmsburg, Hamburg, 2015 –
Current state: project support

Tech Cluster Zug, 2015 –
Current state: transformation plan

Station Herisau, 2013 –
Current state: areal development

KNZ Wil West, Thurgau / St. Gallen, 2011 –
Current state: project support

Urban System Research

Metaverse, 2022 –
Current state: ongoing

Entwicklungskonzept Würzenbach, 2022 –
Current state: ongoing

ESP Hochdorf, 2021 –
Current state: spatial-urban as well as use- and circular-based development concept

Deep Urbanism, 2021 –
Current state: ongoing

cividi gmbh – civic data intelligence, 2019 –
Digital tools for the analogue city
Current state: ongoing


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