Prof. em Christophe Girot | Landscape Architecture

Gustav Ammann (1885–1955): Modern Landscapes in Switzerland

The Zürich-born garden architect Gustav Ammann was a key figure during the first half of the 20th century in garden and landscape architecture in Switzerland. Nationwide, his work includes over 1700 projects and around 230 publications. He is regarded as a gifted designer and a critical leader of discourse in his profession.

Ammann‘s work ranges from the architectural gardens of the Arts & Crafts movement to the flowing green expanses of the ‘organic’ urban designs of the 1950s. At the high point of his career, he was given the responsibility for the gardens and landscapes of the Swiss National Exhibition of 1939.

Contemporary advances are inextricably intertwined with conservative elements in Ammann‘s work. His openness to the new made him the preferred project partner of numerous distinguished Swiss architects of the Modern Era. In Zürich, he designed the gardens of the Werkbund residential development Neubühl, the open air swimming pool Freibad Allenmoos with Max Ernst Haefeli and Werner Max Moser and the open air swimming pool Freibad Letzigraben with Max Frisch. Ammann designed the landscape for the residential development Heiligfeld for Albert Heinrich Steiner, where Zürich’s first high-rise buildings still stand today. This research recognizes Ammann‘s life’s work within the context of his time and offers new approaches for re-evaluating garden design between 1930 and 1955.

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