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Isler Archive
2012 - 2013

On the 20th June 2009, the Swiss engineer Heinz Isler died at the age of 82. He became internationally known especially for his experimental, physical form-finding methods which led to expressive thin-walled concrete shell structures. Beside Robert Maillart, Othmar Ammann and Christian Menn, Heinz Isler, honorary doctor of the ETH Zurich, belongs to Switzerland′s most important engineers of the 20th Century, with more than 1,400 planned and realized buildings such as the motorway service area Deitingen or the garden-center in Wyss Zuchwil. All of these pioneers in building shared the intense examination of the interplay of force, shape and material and the necessary exploration of the possibilities of working with concrete for the realization in the scale of one to one.
In collaboration with the GTA Archive the chair has taken over the task of archiving Islers deduction consisting of project documentations and drawings. Also, a representative part of Isler′s developed experimental settings and the resulting models should be transferred to the GTA Archive. The aim of the archive is not just to preserve Isler′s works to the posterity, but rather an active scientific discussion about his working methods and way of thinking and by that an allocation in the field of architectural heritage of his achievements to the engineering. Together with the recently embedded archive by Fritz Haller, the Archives of Heinz Isler should develop to an initial core of a competence center for engineering at the GTA, thus supporting the research on contemporary Swiss architectural history in the border area between architecture and engineering.

Research Team:
Dr. Toni Kotnik, Ursula Jaray, Katerina Chalvatzi, Duks Koschitz, Tulay Atak, Prof. Joseph Schwartz, Prof. Andreas Tonnesmann

last modified 23.9.2019