Architect, furniture designer and leading exponent of the ‘New Objectivity’ or ‘New Building’ movement in Zurich. Studied at the architecture faculty at ETH Zurich.

Rethinking The Future Awards 2022

1. Werkbundsiedlung Neubühl

The Werkbundsiedlung Neubühl in Zürich is one of the most important model settlements for new construction in the 1930s. It was convinced by a group of young architects including Max Ernst Haefeli, Carl Hubachar, Rudolf Steiger, Werner Max Moser, Ernil Roth, Hans Schmidt, and Paul Arteria.  

The houses are arranged in simple rows perpendicular to the streets making the most of the sun and light as well as creating better noise insulation.

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The settlement has been renovated several times and is still subject to a constant renewal process.

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2. Kongresshaus

The Kongresshaus in Zurich built between 1937-1939 forms a complex of buildings in the style of Historicism of the 1880s. Those responsible for the 1939 Swiss National Exhibition, wanted the Kongresshaus to be completed before the opening of the exhibition which made the task more challenging. 

The main objective of the building was to optimize the different usage units, which had an impact on the original light and festival atmosphere and elegance.

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Several conversions and additions have been made since the inauguration of the ensemble in 1939.

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3. Highrise to the palm tree

Built-in 1964 by the architects’ Max Ernst Haefeli, Rudolf Steiger, and Werner Max Moser, Highrise to the palm tree is among the oldest high-rise buildings in Zürich. 

The structure has a windmill-like floor plan with a petrol station, a silver bullet snack bar, and a branch of Credit Suisse on the ground floor. The two self-supporting spiral ramps provide the base of the roof. What fits the name of the house is that the concrete roofs are reminiscent of palm leaves.

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This 50m building has been renovated several times.

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4. Rotach Houses

The Rotach houses, also known as the model houses at Wasserwerkstrasse, are among the best-known examples of modern Zurich architecture.

It is a three terraced house located on a beautiful yet challenging plot on a steep slope. Nature has been given importance and least changes are made with the terrains and the trees. The house consists of three independent units turned towards the south, optimizing the view of the Platzspitz on the one hand and emphasizing the autonomy of the units on the other.

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5. Allenmoos outdoor pool

The Allenmoos outdoor pool also known as The Freibad Allenmoos was designed by the architects Max Ernst Haefeli and Werner Moser for the swiss National Exhibition in 1939. Unlike the other pools in the city, Allenmoos was designed as the first “Volksbad”- a place where the general public could spend their leisure time and could engage in sports activities.

It includes the grassy area, the elaborately designed changing rooms, and the graceful pavilion building on the edge of the park.

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6. Retirement Home Neubühl

The Retirement home located in Zurich is designed by the architects Rudolf Steiger, Max Moser, and Max Ernst Haefeli. They planned three high-rise islands in the green space, which set themselves apart from the building rows of the original settlement. A nine-story high-rise is organized around a central staircase with two elevators and connects to an eight-story wing with access galleries. To the west, the high-rise building in turn connects to a low, two-story wing. This low building volume contains south-facing residents’ rooms. The retirement home houses a total of 98 apartments. The common rooms are on the ground floor. The building has a reinforced concrete structure. The facade elements for the balconies and parapets were pre fabricated on site.

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7. Cantonal Hospital Zurich

The hospital was initially founded by Berthold V. von Zähringen in 1204 which turned into the first public hospital 100 years later. The hospice turned into a medical and treatment institute in the 16th century. It was in 1833 that the University of Zurich was founded with medical faculty. After a lot of renovations, the current main building of the hospital was built by max Ernst Haefeli, Rudolf Steiger, and Werner Max Moser in the 1940s. 

 The Cantonal Hospital Zürich, also known as the University Hospital Zürich is among the largest hospitals in Switzerland with 44 clinics and an institute. The current main building of the hospital was built by max Ernst Haefeli, Rudolf Steiger, and Werner Max Moser in the 1940s. 

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8. Apartment Buildings Tannengut

The apartment building Tannen Hut was built in the 1950s by the architects Haefeli Moser Steiger. The concentration of the apartments in two long, tall blocks to the east and the loosening of the edification in the western part of the terrain enabled a contiguous open space and good utilization of the building complex, which works with few circulation areas, and grants a beautiful view from all of the apartments.

The four-storey Block A correlates to the north-south direction and is marked by a slight offset in the plan related to the stairwells. At the same position, the building

height is staggered in correspondence to the terrain. The building block B is running along the contour lines and consists of two tracts joined in an obtuse angle.

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The Volume has five respectively six stories facing uphill.

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9. Apartment Buildings Hohenbühl

This residential project designed by Haefeli Moser Steiger is arranged in a park-like villa plot, measuring about 7,000 square meters, and located in a privileged situation

in Zurich-Hottingen.

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This building is a clear example showing how to deal with the increasing demand

for centrally located living possibilities. They demonstrated how to take advantage of the villa plots, respecting modern urban planning criteria, developed and used sensibly and sensitively.

This building was awarded the prize for good buildings in the city of Zurich in 1954.

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10. Administration Building Eternit AG

A new administration building was designed in Niederurnen in the canton of Glarus, by Haefeli Moser Steiger.

Due to the urgent need for space, the building had to be realized in the shortest possible time. It only took fifteen months from the start of construction work to moving into the first office space in 1955. The administration building consists of two complexes, interlocking wings. These appear in the external appearance of the building as independent volumes. These two wings are a four-story office building and an exhibition building turned by 45 °.

The administrative building of Eternit AG was renovated between 1997 and 2005 by the architects’ Martin and Elisabeth Boesch.

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11. “Schindelhäuser” housing estate

“Schindelhäuser” housing estate was designed by Ar. Max Ernst Haefeli and Ar. Otto Pfleghard. The settlement of freely arranged, long buildings with subtle squares and courtyards is of great social and historical importance as a witness to the extreme housing shortage at the end of the First World War. The short construction time and the half-timbered construction are unique in Zurich. The colony is characterized socially and aesthetically by the shingles that became necessary afterward. 

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12. Residential Buildings Farbhof

The Farbhof residential colony is located in Zürich. The area extends over two plots of triangular shape, which are located on both sides of the Hohlstrasse. There are a total of five residential buildings, a garage wing, a neighborhood shop, and a large petrol station. A total of 184 apartments are spread over three seven-story buildings and two three-story building rows. The seven-story apartment buildings are angled twice and oriented towards the sun. In the middle of these buildings are small apartments, the large apartments occupy the ends of the buildings. 

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13. Country house in Erlenbach

Architect Max Ernst Haefeli designed a small country house for single women, guests, and girls rational in the facility and the hospitality.

It portrays simplicity and objectivity. Instead of senseless presentation elements, some constructions increase the living quality, the possibilities for living: large windows, fireplace, sliding wall, scissor lattice – they close without darkening the room.

The materials used are simple, natural, and throughout the building to prevent petty fragmentation. The building fulfills its task as a dwelling not with representative-sentimental motifs, but with the clearest and most relevant solution possible.

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14. Haefeli 1-793a

Max Ernst Haefeli designed Switzerland’s first architect’s chair in 1926 for horgenglarus. The wooden chair became famous for its simplicity, beauty of shape, and the premium workmanship that made it durable and sustainable. Haefeli gave it a familiar shape that made it look elegant and could be used in residential spaces, hotels, and restaurants as well.

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15. Haefeli 1-795

Max Ernst Haefeli designed this chair in 1926. The wooden chair is simple with premium workmanship that makes it durable and sustainable. In 1927, this chair was showcased in the Zürich handicraft museum as the first modular furniture of Swiss modernity.

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Rethinking The Future Awards 2022