Jakob Zweifel - Switzerland

Jakob Zweifel (29.09.1921-27.11.2010) was an architect of the so-called second Swiss modernism, who was strongly engaged for the spatial development of Switzerland
and the protection of the built heritage. During his entire career he showed great professional interest in historical preservations and the building and planning tasks in the historic context.
In addition he was a patron of the arts as the founder of the Theater Winkelwiese in Zurich.

After leaving school in St. Gallen in 1940, Jakob Zweifel initially considered both the profession of a forester as well as studying acting.
However, he first began to study the cultural and surveying technology. After military training he dropped his decision and focused on architecture.
From 1941 he studied architecture at the ETH Zurich. He was was decisively influenced by design professor William Dunkel,
a charismatic, cosmopolitan and far-traveled person. After gruaduating in 1946 under Hans Hofmann, three years as an assistant of William Dunkel at ETH followed.
In 1949 he opened his first own studio in Zurich. Later followed an atelier in Glarus and in 1971 another one in Lausanne.

Jakob Zweifel, as well as other architects of his generation, rebelled against the prevailing architectural style which was still connected to the vernacular.
Even with his first major building and possibly his masterpiece, the Staff Residence of the University Hospital Zurich, he pursued this goal.
This commission was the consequence of a competition in 1952, which asked to accomodate the vast program on a parcel much too tight.
Three years earlier Jakob Zweifel had already built a smaller staff residence at the Kantonsspital in Glarus. As a consequence of the urban density
and the large field of competitors, Jakob Zweifel did not expect to succeed in this competition. But in the end, he won the first prize with a curagous design,
featuring a high-rise building 10 m heigher thant the allowed maximum height.

In the Swiss National Exhibition Expo64 Jakob Zweifel was given the field and forest departement. This exhibition complex, situated on Lake Geneva
and overgrown like a park full of trees, was planned by Jakob Zweifel with a system of tent-like units. The translucency of the tarpaulins gave good light exposure
situations during daytime and impressive lighting effects
at night.

1952 - 1959 
University Hospital Staff Residence, Zürich