School of Architecture, Design and Civil Engineering
School of Architecture, Design and Civil Engineering
Tössfeldstrasse 11, P.O. Box
N 47° 29' 36.47'', E 47° 29' 36.47''
t: +41 58 934 76 50
Head of school
The Zurich Universitiy of Applied Sciences ZHAW is one of the largest and most productive universities of applied sciences in Switzerland, with a strong presence both nationally and internationally. Among the ZHAW’s distinguishing features are interdisciplinarity and a close connection to everyday working practice.
About 9000 students are enrolled at the ZHAW in a total of 24 Bachelor’s degree programmes and 12 consecutive Master’s programmes. The university also offers a broad range of continuing education courses, including over 30 Master's of Advanced Studies programmes. 30 institutes at the ZHAW network their resources to provide business and industry with customised services
The school is situated on the Zurich University of Applied Sciences Campus «Tössfeld» near the medieval city centre of Winterthur. Owing to a very important role in the Swiss industrialization in the 19th and 20th century, Winterthur in general but especially the Campus «Tössfeld» offers a rich environment of industrial heritage. The Department of Architecture occupies the former boiler foundry of the famous Sulzer Brothers engineering company. The building has been converted into a huge learning space in 1991 and the Architecture degree programmes gains greatly from the innovative style of the large, open study space in the former factory building. Winterthur’s art museums offer an impressive collection of European masterpieces ranging from the Late Middle Ages to the present day.
260 students (190 Bachelor, 70 Master, 0 PhD), 5% of foreign students.
125 staff members (34 full-time and approx. 91 visiting lecturers and critics).
Departmental events such as lectures, architecture exhibitions, competitions and festivities; Zurich University of Applied Sciences Student’ Association; Assorted sports facilities.
Support to find accommodation can be provided. cf. www.swowi.ch
cf. website (www.archbau.zhaw.ch).
CHF 680 per term (for residents in the canton of Zurich, Switzerland).
April (Bachelor programme, start on the autumn semester)
July (Master programme, start on the autumn semester)
December (Master programme, start on the spring semester)
Bachelor of Arts in Architektur
Master, Master of Arts ZFH in Architecture, 2-year programme, Master, 120,
Master of Arts in Architektur
The department of Architecture, Design and Civil Engineering is divided in the following curricula: Architecture (Bachelor/Master), Civil Engineering (Bachelor/Master) and in the two centres Urban Landscape and Constructive Design. The architecture studies have two stages.
The 3-year bachelor studies (6 semesters), which end with the Bachelor of Arts in Architecture (BA), allowing a professional activity, are the basis for the 2-year master studies (4 semesters), which end with the Master of Arts in Architecture (MA).
The Master degree is recognized internationaly in the European Union, meeting the standards of the European Union (EU-Guideline 85/384/EWG), of the International Union of Architects (UIA) and of UNESCO. The Swiss recommendations and guidelines for introducing Europe-wide the two-stage studies according to the «Bologna Declaration» are also taken into account.
The Bachelor studies are structured on semester modules and include 180 Credits of compulsory, optional compulsory and optional modules. Together with the existing courses a great importance is also accorded to the responsible acquisition of achievements in studio based learning and in self-learning. It is very important to work together with students of the Civil Engineering Department during the entire study-period. During the 1st year of studies (assessment stage) the perception and development of architectural, constructive and creative concepts will be taught. Students will acquire important experiences through analytical and draft exercises. Lecture courses, seminars and trips serve to deepen thematic focus points theoretically and to combine them with practice. Students will learn and practise written, oral and visual presentation techniques. Furthermore the fundamentals of natural sciences and liberal arts necessary for the main studies will be deepened. During the 2nd and 3rd year of studies (main studies), theory based project classes in ateliers and the acquisition of specialized basic knowledge (building physics/material technology, building realisation, household technology and supportive structure/foundation) form the two complementary poles of education. During the 3rd year, due to professionally applied optional modules, it is possible to continue individually a thorough study. The projects will include in their development architectural, as well as technical, ecological, economic, cultural and social problems.
The Master studies Architecture are the perfect continuation of the Bachelor studies, enlarging the professional perspectives for architects. The studies are modular structures and include 120 Credits of compulsory, optional compulsory and optional modules. Within the framework of the close relation between theory and research the two centres Urban Landscape and Constructive Design fulfi l important tasks in the master studies: – The centre Urban Landscape concentrates on changes in the landscape and settlement area und on the relation between infrastructure and land. – The centre Constructive Design deals with the main questions of the interaction between constructions, space, form and context, when buildings are designed. Projects and workshops together with European partner schools supplement the achievements realized at Winterthur. Students have the possibility of studying up to one year at one of the partner colleges. There are contracts with the following schools: Escuela Tecnica Superior de Arquitectura de Valencia / Escola Tècnica Superior de Arquitectura de Barcelona / Universidade do Minho, Guimarães / Kingston University London / Universität der Künste UdK, Berlin / Univerza v Ljubljani, Fakulteta za arhitekturo, Ljubljana / School of Architecture CEPT, Ahmedabad (India).
The Master studies are laid out as a vertical atelier, where praxis-related tasks of Urban Landscape and Constructive Design are dealt with from a design and research perspective. Together with formulating and dealing with the tasks, the design process itself is an important didactic element. Pro semester there are two study-weeks for workshops and trips planned. With a master thesis the knowledge acquired during three semesters and the obtained skills will be demonstrated and tested within the framework of an exemplary and explicit formulation of a problem. To complete the master studies, the optional compulsory modules include test facilities for research papers for Urban Landscape and Constructive Design, which will be also be completed by lecture courses and seminars.
In both centres Urban Landscape and Constructive Design, lecturers, scientific co-workers and assistants from various fields of activity come together in a team, which processes theme based assignments form following fields: theory, research and development, service and further training. At present, the two centres deal with two long-term research themes: the single-family house as a complex unit in the settlement development and an innovative project, which fathoms the architectural and spatial potential of steep roofs. Both projects are part of the Master courses.