Elective Thesis
High-rise Buildings of the Future - back to the Roots?

Elective Thesis
Meghan Rolvien

What about the high-rise building in Switzerland? It is accused of not being sustainable. What is meant by the term sustainability? First and foremost, it means sustainability in the sense of ensuring the preservation of the environment. Recently, architectural firms have been implementing this goal in various ways and often use sustainability as part of their marketing concept. In this context, wood as a material is often presented as a climate saver. The use of the renewable raw material is supposed to promise a sustainable building. To counter the cliché of the high-rise building as a non-sustainable typology, a number of designs for wooden high-rises have recently emerged in Switzerland - a consistent continuation of the Alpine tradition of building wooden huts.
This in-depth study takes the format of a publication and uses two current projects in Zurich and Geneva to discuss the extent to which architects are addressing the issue of sustainability in high-rise construction. This is considered not only on an ecological but also on a social level. It shows ways in which high-rise buildings can also play a role in the future.


Antje Stahl