Lecture Series
This year: The Making of Glass Architecture


This is a lecture series that delves into the planning and construction processes of outstanding architecture and looks at the topic from a technical point of view. It provides a forum for experts who are – often little-noticed by the architecture discourse – working behind the scenes but play a key role for the implementation of innovative architecture.


While the making of cinema blockbusters is well established as a film genre of its own, one hardly learns anything about the genesis of great buildings. Usually in lectures about architecture only the beginning and the end of the design and construction processes are presented: the key design ideas and the completed, impeccably photographed building. In the lecture series The Making of special attention is being paid to the intermediate process. It addresses the challenges of architecture production, trials and errors, research and technical progress.


The series covers two lectures per semester on average.




According to Gottfried Semper's theory, the origin of the wall lies in the textile and in weaving. The German word “winden” (weave) is etymologically related to "Wand" (wall) as the ...read more

Rammed earth may be the oldest building material known to mankind. Can we revive the building technique? How can it be integrated into modern building practice? ...read more

November 24, 2021, 7 pm (via Zoom) Rena Giesecke, ETH Zürich „The Making of Building Clarity - New Construction Techniques in Glass" ...read more

A lecture by Christoph Bauchinger, who has been working as a façade professional for more than 10 years and has successfully completed large scale projects worldwide. He now works for the internationally renowned company Seele, which specializes in steel-glass constructions and all-glass designs, and heads its Austrian engineering department . ...read more

House 36 is a crystalline volume of exposed concrete. Both the walls and the roof are made of monolithic insulating concrete and combine the load-bearing structure, the thermal insulation and ...read more

9.10.2019 Knitted Formworks for Complex Concrete Structures Mariana Popescu, Block Research Group, ETH Zürich   14.11.2019 H36, A Monolithic insulating Concrete House, Stuttgart Matthias Bauer, Stuttgart   11.3.2020 - Postponed to winter semester 20-21 MUCEM Marseille, Ultra-High Performance Concrete Romain ...read more

KnitCandela is a thin, sinuous concrete shell built on an ultra-lightweight knitted formwork, jointly designed and developed by Zaha Hadid Architects and Block Research Group (BRG) of ETH Zurich. It ...read more

The Sheikh Zayed Desert Learning Centre is both a museum and a research centre for desert landscapes and environmental issues, located within the Wildlife Park Resort of Al Ain, UAE. ...read more

Sunny Hills in Aoyama Tokyo is a pineapple cake shop jointly designed and developed by Kengo Kuma and Jun Sato. Its structure is based on the centuries-old Japanese wood craft of Kigumi, a timber framework whose elements interlock like pieces of a jigsaw puzzle...  ...read more

  The expansion of the Oslo Airport by Nordic Architects includes five pavilions that divide the huge international arrivals hall. They differ in shape and size but share the same structural principle ...read more

The lecture focuses on the materiality of the wall by presenting and exploring some pivotal scenes from BBC's television series "Sherlock" (2010-present). In particular, it analyses how different types of ...read more

This project is a true classic. Completed in 2000, it was a landmark in the evolution of complex steel-glass structures. Although it served as a paradigm for a multitude of ...read more

Zaha Hadid always tried to push the artistic boundaries of architecture, thus challenging engineers and construction companies. One of her last projects, an extension to St. Anthony’s College, Oxford University, ...read more

Aleksandra Anna Apolinarska of Gramazio Kohler Research at ETH Zürich explains how innovative computational design and manufacturing methods not only change the logistics of timber construction but also lead to novel architectural solutions. ...read more

Goswin Rothenthal, façade engineer and software developer at Waagner-Biro Stahlbau talks about the complex dome structure of Louvre Abu Dhabi (designed by architect Jean Nouvel) and how he optimised the geometry of the multilayer aluminium cladding to manufacturing constraints. ...read more