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Lütjens Padmanabhan Architekten

Zurich, Switzerland


Lütjens Padmanabhan Architekten was established by Oliver Lütjens and Thomas Padmanabhan in 2007. The recent work of the practice focuses on housing in the residential districts surrounding the cities of Zürich, Basel and Munich. Despite their love for a more refined, urbane architecture, Oliver Lütjens and Thomas Padmanabhan have light-heartedly embraced the fact that most of their commissions are set in the mundane anonymity of suburbia. Their interest in complex architectural expression has distanced the practice from the craft-oriented mainstream of Swiss architecture. Their current projects explore the impossible task of reconciling the autonomy of the exterior facade with the typological uncertainty of interior spaces and loose urban contexts.

After teaching assignments at ETH Zürich and TU Munich Oliver Lütjens and Thomas Padmanbhan are currently teaching as guest professors at EPF Lausanne.

CAB 2 Contribution

Project Overview

A Day at the Beach

The Lieb Beach House has always been one of our favourite Venturi buildings. “Small in size, but not small in character”[1] the Lieb Beach House exudes the essence of casual life. Like any of Venturi’s buildings the Lieb Beach House is the result of a wonderful transformation of the normal into the particular. It is a small and delicate building with a number of sturdy large-scale architectural elements. Its architecture looks at history as a cultural reference yet its sensibility is Pop.

We are not interested in framing architecture as a historic collective memory. When we look at the work of Michelangelo it seems to us as fresh today as it was at the time it was built. For us as well as for Venturi architecture is the language of form. The means of expression have changed over time—but not its content.

1 “It may be small in size, but it’s not small in character.” Robert Gotkin, current owner

The City is the Site