Christian Kerez's work is distinguished by constant formal and architectural research. Indeed, Kerez considers architecture to be the result of an ongoing study of space and the pathways that lead through it, generating alternative approaches.
His preferred tools are models, which he moulds and then constantly questions the results - Kerez incessantly explores numerous design possibilities.
He was born in 1962 in Maracaibo, Venezuela, and was educated at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Zurich. He received a Masters in Architecture in 1988 and has taught there since 2001. He was a design architect in the office of Rudolf Fontana from 1991 to 1993.
After extensive published work in the field of architectural photography, he opened his own architectural office in Zurich in 1993. Despite his background in architectural photography and the quality of the imagery on his website, he is critical of the profession's reliance on the architectural image and computer-generated images in particular.
The Kunstmuseum in the Liechtenstein capital Vaduz (2000) was designed by Christian Kerez, with Meinrad Morger and Heinrich Degelo. The mysterious, highly tactile black box form is of tinted concrete and black basalt stone embedded with pebbles from the Rhine. Inside, the black box becomes a white cube. Arranged around two staircases, the galleries have a precise clarity, while the plan enables diagonal views through the building.
Kerez's 2003 Forsterstrasse apartment project is spread over five levels. The internal planning is reminiscent of Mies's brick wall houses: a series of orthogonal perpendicular walls defining individual spaces that flow from one to the other.
His 2007 Single Wall House in Zurich is an apparently simple project, but is in fact sophisticated both structurally and spatially. It is two houses in a single structure where the volume has been split both vertically and horizontally. The party wall zig-zags, taking a different line on each of the three floors, add to the interest.
Leutschenbach School in Zurich (2009) breaks new ground in the school design, bringing together all functions under one roof: classrooms, cafeteria, music rooms, meeting rooms and gym. Unusually, the gym hall is on the top floor instead of being submerged underground.
In the course of his career Kerez has exhibited all over the world, including in New York, Paris and Shanghai.
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