We are interested in an architectural language that addresses architecture’s universal, general, and therefore anonymous character. Architecture cannot be solely the result of the radical assertion of an autonomous idea of the individual designer. Instead, we focus on fundamental forms of architecture.
Our journey through Italy is still an important reference for our work: eternally valid architecture, which was developed under changing political, cultural and technical conditions over time. It’s always about the task at hand and never about the personal aspirations of the designer. It’s about urban spaces and buildings and their expression.
The instruments to achieve eternally valid architecture are always the same: the structure of the building, façade, space, dramaturgy, material and form. In every project we try to find a contemporary, specific expression of universal architecture.
Over the past years, a broad range of private and public commissions has given shape to Christ & Gantenbein‘s growing body of work – encompassing different scales and scopes from individual residential extensions, institutional buildings, infrastructures and urban masterplans. Award-winning projects such as the renovations and extensions to the Kunstmuseum in Basel (2016) and the Swiss National Museum in Zurich (2016), as well as the Wallraf-Richartz-Museum in Cologne (ongoing) have strengthen the office‘s expertise in the development of museum buildings. Housing schemes in Paris and Switzerland, as well as the Lindt Chocolate Competence Centre in Switzerland are, among others, currently on the drawing board. Founders Emanuel Christ and Christoph Gantenbein, Partner Mona Farag, Associates Tabea Lachenmann, Anna Flückiger, Victoria Easton and Daniel Monheim, together with 35 architects staff the practice established in 1998.
Since graduating from the ETH Zurich (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology) in 1998, Emanuel Christ and Christoph Gantenbein have maintained a balance between their professional activity and their academic involvement. After lectureships inter alia at the ETH Studio Basel (2000–2005), the HGK Basel (2002–2003), the Accademia di Architettura in Mendrisio (2004, 2006, 2009) and the Oslo School of Architecture and Design (2008), they returned to the ETH Zurich (2010–2015). Research conducted in this latter period culminated in the meticulous exposition of more than 400 buildings in the two monographs Typology (Park Books, 2012, 2015). This compendium further inspires and sustains their on-going interest in the city and its underlying paradigms. Since 2015, they have been teaching at Harvard GSD.
Following many previous participations in international exhibitions, the practice was invited last year to contribute the results of its work and research to the 15th Venice Biennale as well as the 4th Lisbon Architecture Triennial. The work of Christ & Gantenbein is featured in the monographs a+u 535 (2015), 2G N°68 (2014), Around the Corner (Hatje Cantz 2012) and Pictures from Italy (Park Books, 2011).
Christ & Gantenbein’s work has been distinguished with the Best Architects 17 Award – Public Buildings (2016), the Essence Award – Gold Prize (2016), the RedDot Award – “Best of the Best” Prize (2016), the Media Architecture Biennale Awards (2016), the Swiss Steel Construction Award – Prix Acier (2014), the AR Award for Emerging Architecture (2009) and two nominations for the Iakov Chernikhov International Prize (2010, 2012).