Working & Living

History and Presence of Studio House Wuhrstrasse 8/10

Studio House Wuhrstrasse 8/10 in Zurich: a unique working and living space for artists


Title Information

Edited by the Painters & Sculptors Building Cooperative Zurich

1st edition

, 2021


260 pages, 129 color and 125 b/w illustrations

23 x 31 cm

ISBN 978-3-03942-031-5


The studio and residential building at Wuhrstrasse 8/10 in Zurich is a unique place: Commissioned by the Painters & Sculptors Building Cooperative Zurich, founded in 1948, eminent Swiss architect Ernst Gisel (1922–2021) designed this ensemble of buildings comprising eight apartments and twelve artist studios in 1953. Thus, a utopia of self-organized working and living space became reality. Since then, fifty-four artists have left their mark on the artistic and cultural life of Zurich and Switzerland from their home on Wuhrstrasse 8/10.

This book recounts the history of this extraordinary structure, illustrated with archival plans and documents as well as new and historic photographs. It also examines the political and social dimension of the Wuhrstrasse model and its international impact. Further essays explore how the lives and works of the resident artists are interwoven with contemporary events, and address the artist studio as both an idealized myth and as a real place of work. In inserts created especially for the book, eleven Zurich-based artists, all not members of the cooperative themselves, respond to the exemplary model that is the “Atelierhaus.”

With Contributions by Stefan Burger, Adam Jasper, Caroline Kesser, Bruno Maurer, Burkhard Meltzer, Gabrielle Schaad, and Stefan Zweifel.

Photo-Inserts by Georg Aerni and Zara Pfeifer, Art-Inserts by Marieta Chirulescu, Stephan Janitzky, Verena Kathrein & Ariane Müller, Adriana Lara, Manfred Pernice, Christian Philipp Müller, Erik Steinbrecher, Constantin Thun, and Georg Winter.


Adam Jasper is a postdoctoral researcher at ETH Zurich’s Institute for the History and Theory of Architecture (gta Institute).


Caroline Kesser lives and works in Zurich as an art historian and critic.


Bruno Maurer is director of archives at ETH Zurich’s Institute for the History and Theory of Architecture (gta Institute).


Burkhard Meltzer is a Zurich-based author, researcher, and curator.


Gabrielle Schaad is a lecturer and research associate at Zurich University of the Arts (ZHdK) and the Technical University of Munich.


Stefan Zweifel is Zurich-based a philosopher who also works as a writer and curator.


Deutsche Ausgabe

Authors & Editors
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Photograph of the studio house, 2020 © Photo: Georg Aerni

Ernst Gisel, Atelierhaus Wuhrstrasse, Plan No. 1093, drawings of the southeast façades, September 4, 1952. gta Archiv/ETH Zürich, Ernst Gisel Estate

Ernst Gisel during the introductory speech at the inauguration of the cooperative, spring 1953. Photographer unknown; gta Archiv/ETH Zürich, Ernst Gisel Estate

Trudi Demut with limestone sculpture, Figur 1, Otto Müller’s courtyard workshop, 1960. gta Archiv/ETH Zürich. © Willy Walter; Willy Walter Estate

In Friedrich Kuhn’s studio, (left to right) unidentified guitar player, Philipp Schibig, Friedrich Kuhn, Muz Zeier (standing), Nicolas Bregenzer, Silvio R. Baviera, René Ed. Brauchli, Ernst Bucher (in the foreground), c. 1969. © Hannes R. Bossert; Hannes R. Bossert Estate

Otto Müller at work on Grosser Kopf for the Fellbach town hall/D, c. 1985. © Photo: Peter Münger

Documentation of the apartments and studios June 3–10, 2020 © Photo: Zara Pfeifer

Documentation of the apartments and studios June 3–10, 2020 © Photo: Zara Pfeifer

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