Subscribe to our newsletter

Highlights From the Previous Week, Partnered Events and Haikus. View our Newsletter archive

HOUSE 2 – Counter City in Zurich

The Atelier de la Conception de l’Espace (ALICE) at the EPFL has conceived this public architectural installation next to the Toni-Areal in Zurich

Scroll right to read more ›
Text by Rab Messina
Photography by Anna Positano

The Atelier de la Conception de l’Espace (ALICE) took collaborative design and construction on a public scale: along with 200 first-year students from the EPFL, the studio erected the HOUSE 2 installation in Zurich.

Located next to the Toni-Areal, the project was erected in less than 10 days thanks to a prefab process that started in Lausanne. This is the follow-up to last year’s HOUSE 1, an on-campus installation in Lausanne made by students for students. HOUSE 2 expanded to explore the project’s relation to the city, making urban participation possible.

“The public installation is not a homogenous architecture, but rather, the result of various different contributions,” said Dieter Dietz, the laboratory’s leader. “Each offers an approach to spatial appropriation by many voices, in a dialogical process that questions the quality of public life in view of growing cities around the globe.”

Inspired by Richard Sennett’s Together, the ALICE project places a strong emphasis on the notion of collectivity and the negotiation of space of social difference. As a pedagogical tool, HOUSE 2 aims to materialise these learnings during the design-build process as well as in the finished installation’s spatial parameters and the possibility of its uses. “As a forum installation, it provides a space for active exchange, debate and discussion involving the entire community,” added Dietz.

After traveling to Lausanne, HOUSE 2 will be disassembled in the autumn —but the wood will be preserved in order to reconfigure it into HOUSE 3 in 2018.

The 240 square meter structure was assembled in 10 days
The project was carried out thanks to the collaboration of 200 first-year students from the EPFL
The wooden elements will be reutilised in HOUSE 3, to be produced next year

Articles you also might like

This Brussels studio cultivates a carefully reasoned approach to graphic design. Contemporary, meticulous and rather trendy, the Stoëmp style is centred on experience and ethical practices. TLmag met with Italian-Polish designer-duo Gaetano Licata and Wojciech Szlachta, the source for the most multicultural “stoemp” in the Belgian capital.

Designing fabrics that are exported around the world, these two designers are as close as they are complementary. TLmag meets with half of the otherwise inseparable duo Barbara Repole, who, together with Sébastien Pescarollo, co-founded Belgian label ‘PIECEOFCHIC’.