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An Interview with @lerichti


Strong lines. Strident repetition. Glass clear as anything. Leave it to the Swiss to create a great building. Capturing the inspiring architecture of Zurich, Switzerland and its more distant destinations is Philipp Heer. A part-time photographer with a passion for construction and symmetry, Heer documents the mesmerizing precision of a place known for its dedication to perfection in all pursuits. Here, we talk to the 38-year-old product designer about Swiss preconceptions, architectural surprises, and the best view you’ll find in all of Zurich.

Place of birth:

Zurich, Switzerland

Current residence:

Wallisellen (near Zurich)

What inspires you the most about architecture?

The lines and how the architect finds a solution for the site: How to construct a building on the chosen site? Should the building be in communication with the surroundings? Should it pop out? Be at the same level as the already existing ones or completely different? Etc.

How do you think Swiss architecture differs from other places in the world?

I always thought Swiss architecture was about strong lines--simple, even modest. But after having shot many contemporary buildings in Switzerland, I’m not so sure anymore. Sometimes Swiss architecture can even be very outgoing and surprising. I think with Herzog & de Meuron and Peter Zumthor (as examples) Swiss architecture developed very positively.

What are your favorite buildings in Zurich?

Skyscraper Prime Tower (by Gigon/Guyer architects), Train Station Stadelhofen (by Santiago Calatrava architect), University of Arts Zurich (em2n architects).

What’s the best thing to do in Switzerland during the summer?

Have a ride on a ship on the lake in Zurich.

What’s the biggest stereotype about Zurich that’s not true?

Everybody in Zurich is rich.

What’s the biggest stereotype about Zurich that IS true?

Everybody in Zurich is rich.

The best thing you can find in Switzerland that you can’t find anywhere else?

Public transport always comes in time.

If someone was visiting Zurich from out of town, where would you send them?

The bar, Clouds, on the top level of the Prime Tower has a wonderful view over the entire city.

Photos courtesy of @lerichti.