Advanced Studio: Furttalweg – Designing Furtbach’s Riverway

Advanced Studio: Furttalweg – Designing Furtbach’s Riverway
21. July 2020 Cara Turett

Furttal Pointcloud Model, Chair of Christophe Girot

The Advanced Studio will focus on the Furttal, situated between the Lägern and Altberg mountains at the northwest edge of Zurich. The plain of the valley was once largely covered by wetlands, a result of the glaciers which formerly covered the Furttal. In the past 15 years, these wetlands have been drained and turned into arable land, resulting in one of the largest areas of vegetable production in the canton. Today, the region is also very urbanised, though not in the sense of a continuous urbanity but in the form of patches of settlements on both sides of the valley. Consequently, it is difficult to find natural connections along the valley. This situation raises a number of interesting questions: how continuous are those fragmented places? How accessible is the valley’s main stream, the Furtbach? Can we imagine a promenade or a network of pathways along the shore? Can we establish connectivity between the urbanised areas through landscape design?

This studio will address both the Furtbach’s low water quality, its shortage and public inaccessibility through landscape design. Anticipating the valley’s simultaneous growing importance as a residential district of Zurich, tackling the challenge of the Furtbach presents an opportunity to reconsider what the urban Furt Valley district’s future role, identity, and character will be in relation to the urban landscape (Stadtlandschaft) of Zurich.

The FS 2022 Advanced Studio will emphasise large-scale design through digital point cloud modeling. In several workshops, students will acquire skills in point cloud and computer modeling, visualisation techniques, and CNC prototyping. The studio includes several workshops and field trips to the site.
The studio is structured into three phases:
Phase 1: Site visit, urban design, and hypothesis
Phase 2: Design Development through modeling and iteration
Phase 3: Project synthesis and visualisation
  • Course 061-0144-22 U
  • Studio Space: ETH Hönggerberg HIL G 75
  • Introduction: Tuesday, 22.02.2022 11:00h
  • Final Critique: 31.05.2022 
  • 12 Credits
  • Language of instruction is English; Assistance in English and German
  • Prerequisites: Enrollment in MScLA Program; Completion of Foundation Studios I and II