AMHARA Model Town

Wednesday, 12. September 2012 | 14:45 Uhr


Franz Oswald


ETH Zurich   


Professor Franz Oswald from ETH Zurich explained the process of creating a new village starting from the drawing board. One of the steps was the development of a prototype house. Difficulties were encountered in finding suitable local material and training craftsmen. The result was a two-story building made from gum wood, which can be obtained from the local markets. When building the new town, different conceptual prerequisites were incorporated. The main focus was laid on communication, education in ecology and energy as well as the cooperation with the inhabitants and the surrounding communities. According to Franz Oswald, the objective of AMHARA Model Town is that inhabitants can sustain themselves when it comes to food, transport and education. Typical traditions, natural resources, climate and last but not least also potentials and risks were taken into account. The creation of a new village by its inhabitants does not only affect the environ-ment and the work of planners, designers and engineers, but also every individual. The concrete work showed complex transformation abilities leading to unexpected things and thoughts about crises and hopes.

Franz Oswald

Franz Oswald is Professor em. of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH Zurich) and Head of AUS, the Office for Architecture and Urban Studies.

Franz Oswald was Professor of Architectural Design at the ETH Zurich 1972-1993 and also Director of the Institute for Local, Regional and National Planning (ORL). He was also guest professor at the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), Switzerland; Cornell University, USA; Cooper Union, USA and visiting professor at Technion, Israel; New Jersey Institute of Technology, USA and consultant at Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia.

He studied philosophy, literature and art history at the University of Bern and the University of Zurich before studying architecture at the ETH Zurich. His post-doctoral studies were completed at Universität zu Köln, Germany and Cornell University, USA.

His office for Architecture and Urban Studies (AUS) in Bern, Switzerland was responsible for projects, building construction, and research and development predominantly in Switzerland, Germany and Israel, and was responsible for the restoration project of the Sassanidic palaces in Iran. AUS received the Deutscher Betonpreis für Wohen der Zukunft.

Franz Oswald is a former Dean of the Faculty of Architecture at ETH Zurich and former president of SCUPAD (Salzburg Congress of Urban Planning and Development). He has published numerous works on the topics of architecture, teaching architectural design, and theory of urban planning.

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