Seminar Week Spring 2015

Paris – Landscape and Politics

The Paris seminar, under the general theme Urbanity of the Landscape, will be Landscape and Politics. Discovering or re-discovering the landscapes and urban landscapes that have created Paris’ identity since the 17th century, we will look at the political aspects of these “Grands Projets” that have shaped France’s territory and how they have used different skills, from military strategy to artistic sensibility.

. Le Silvarium de la Grande Bibliothèque (Dominique Perrault, 1995)
. Le Jardin des Plantes, Musée d’histoire naturelle (1635)
. Le Jardin du Palais Royal (1633)
. Le Jardin des Tuileries / Place de la Concorde / Champs Elysées / Etoile / Avenue Foch
. Bois de Boulogne (1857), Fondation Louis Vuitton (Frank Gehry, 2015)
. Les Buttes Chaumont (1867)
. Parc de la Villette / La Philharmonie de Paris (Jean Nouvel, 2015)
. Parc André Citroën (1992)
. Versailles: Château (1623), Potager du Roi (1683)
. Terrasse de Saint-Germain en Laye (1674)
. Terrasse de Meudon (1871) et de l’Observatoire
. Parc de le Courneuve (1960), Le plus grand parc autour de Paris (415 hectares)

Seminarweek Chair of Günther Vogt
Date: 16th to 20th March 2015
Budget: C
Participants: Max. 15 Students
Contact: Thomas Kissling,


Urban Qualities in Landscapes – The Travelling Architect

In the Department of Architecture at ETH Zurich, including at the Chair of Professor Vogt, seminar trips take place twice a year. These are planned independently of the current design semester.

We understand a travel seminar not as a sightseeing tour but rather as a guided examination of public open spaces, mainly concerning the tension between the city and the landscape. We are not tourists; we are travelling architects. The clear contrast between city and countryside is disappearing more and more. The landscape is becoming urbanised and there is hardly any untouched nature to be found. All landscape spaces are the result of human intervention: there are landscapes that have the marks of a design as well as a redesign that can be read just like agricultural land and infrastructures. The Seminar Week cycle of the Chair is devoted to this area of tension with the main theme: Urban Qualities in Landscapes.

Content-wise, the seminar trip is oriented to the main themes of the Chair and offers the possibility to delve into these in depth and on site. Last semester’s seminar topic dealt mainly with the notion of craft, with a special focus on the manufacture of products and the resources it requires. Other problem areas addressed were the processes of change and adjustment that subordinate a particular handwork tradition and its artisans, as well as the effects these have on the use and formation of the landscape.