Door 3: Peter Märkli
Creatively Switzerland is known for its font and graphic design, but it also has rich history and present of architects. A common denominator is their love for materials, most of the times regional, and their consideration of architectural context. Frequently associated names within this school are Peter Zumthor, Rudolf Olgiati, his son Valerio or their contemporary Peter Märkli.
He was born in 1953 in Zürich, where he still lives and works. He studied architecture at the infamous University ETH Zürich from 1972 until 1977. During his studies he made important encounters with the sculptor Hans Josephsohn, which he first saw in a newspaper, and the architect Rudolf Olgiati, which continue to influence and follow him until this day. He founded his own studio in 1972 and taught at his former school from 2002 until 2015.
His approach is strongly formed by architectural history, which he sees as the basic language of architecture. His credo is, one can only break the rules, if one mastered or knows them. At the same time for him it is highly important of being in the present, this knowledge of history has nothing to do with nostalgia.
One of his most famous buildings is La Congiunta, a museum for sculptures of Josephsohn, built in 1992. The building itself is made of concrete and hast no electricity, no insulation, according to Märkli it is "just space". Other famous buildings and projects of him the new organ of Basel Cathedral (2003), Visitor Center, Novartis Campus (2006) and the office building at Picasso Platz (2008), also in Basel.
His work was also featured in exhibitions, for example he was part of 2012 Venice Biennale entitled Common ground. Here again he used sculptures of Josephsohn and a another famous Swiss sculptor Alberto Giacometti to raise the question of the relationship between human and space. He did so by juxtapositioning works of the aforementioned artists with the existing columns of the Arsenale.