Finding Buildings

Chalk Drawings by Marianne Burkhalter

This insightful volume showcases the sketches of Swiss architect Marianne Burkhalter.



Title Information

Edited by Burkhalter Sumi Architects. With an essay by Astrid Staufer

1st edition

, 2009

Text English and German


174 pages, 132 color and 1 b/w illustrations

24.5 x 32 cm

ISBN 978-3-85881-297-1


The work of designing a building—even the largest and most technically advanced structure—begins with the most basic of elements: a sketch. This beautifully produced volume reproduces more than one hundred such initial sketches, drawn in chalk, by renowned Swiss architect Marianne Burkhalter. A co-founder of Burkhalter Sumi Architects in Zürich, she has designed a wide range of acclaimed public and private buildings, including hotels, offices, and private homes, as well as large-scale urban redevelopment projects.

Each of the chalk drawings reveals the germ of an idea, their blurred lines and simplicity rendering them more intimate and immediate than technical draftsmanship—closer in feel to the decision-making process of a solitary artist choosing among many options and sorting out problems. In their beauty and tension, they bring the work of architectural design to stunning life.

Presenting sketches for twenty projects, Finding Buildings will appeal to anyone curious about the architectural process in its early stages.

Authors & Editors

Marianne Burkhalter

, born 1947, is an architect and professor at the Academy of Architecture in Mendrisio. She trained as a draughtsman and did her architectural education at Princeton University, and has worked with various firms in Switzerland, Italy and the USA before founding Burkhalter Sumi Architects in Zürich together with Christian Sumi in 1984.

Astrid Staufer

Christian Sumi