Your favorite character in history. Alexander von Humboldt.
Your favorite virtue. Sense of humor.
The building you’d like to wake up in. Hotel New York in Rotterdam. But that is my nostalgic side because I was unable to travel to the Netherlands for this lecture. Otherwise an ocean liner on its way to New York City.
Your most influential teacher. Hans Kollhoff, who was an amazing teacher.
Your favorite architectural text. Le Corbusier’s Voyage d’Orient.
Your idea of earthly happiness. Convivialité, as the French say, sitting around a table with family and friends. The act of eating and drinking is extremely beautiful. It is in this moment in which you are doing the most basic thing, the sharing of food.
Your favorite color. At some point in my childhood, I decided blue.
The last book you read. Hotel Florida, about the Spanish civil war and the artists and journalists who met in a hotel in Madrid during this period, such as Ernest Hemingway and Martha Gellhorn.
Your ideal collaborator. Christoph Gantenbein! We met as interns at the office of Herzog & De Meuron, and afterwards studied together with Hans Kollhoff at the ETH Zürich. Before completing our diploma project, we both needed one last elective, and chose the easiest course to earn the credits needed: Building Economy. We had to complete a feasibility study for an empty plot of land and selected a piece of land on which we, after the course ended, we were fortunate enough to realize our first built project together: the Studio House Zollikon.
Your favorite indulgence. Good wine.
Your favorite musician. Johann Sebastian Bach. His music is very typological.
The building material you like the least. I like most materials, am I entitled to a joker?
Your favorite occupation. Being an architect; and more and more being a teacher.
Your favorite artist. Gerhard Richter.
Your favorite city to live. Basel, under the condition that once in a while I can get out.
Your most marked characteristic. Communicative.
The current societal issue that will determine the future of architecture. Political Correctness.
Your agenda for tomorrow. I’ll get up early to pack to go skiing with the family for the weekend;, then do design reviews for various projects in the office; visit the hairdresser for an appointment that I had to cancel twice due to busyness; and then I rush out of the office to miss the traffic jam to the Alps.