At Home in Steel

At Home in Steel

Residential Construction in Steel—Thoughts on Space and Structure

A compact and concise survey of the use of steel in residential architecture, reflecting on historic icons and featuring outstanding contemporary examples



Title Information

Edited by the Zurich University of Applied Sciences’ Institute of Constructive Design

1st edition

, 2019


160 pages, 72 color and 107 b/w illustrations

17 x 24 cm

ISBN 978-3-03860-145-6


Since the introduction of steel as a building material in the early 20th century, its superior performance has challenged conventional wisdom about construction, enabling designs of surprising lightness and span. From the Eames House in Los Angeles to the Hôtel Tassel in Brussels and the Maison de Verre in Paris, At Home in Steel celebrates the use of steel in residential architecture. These icons of steel construction should inspire architects to rediscover the advantages of this versatile material in contemporary residential architecture, from industrial prefabrication and a swift and dry construction process to structural adaptability over a building’s lifetime.

Drawing on recent research at the Zurich University of Applied Sciences, Institute of Constructive Design, the essays in At Home in Steel reflect on steel residential architecture from today’s perspective. The book features contemporary examples by Atelier Bow-Wow, Christian Kerez, Lacaton and Vassal, and Made In, among others.

With contributions by Ingrid Burgdorf, Patric Fischli-Boson, Patric Furrer, Stephan Mäder, Marcel Meili, Daniel Meyer, Niko Nikolla, Tanja Reimer, Astrid Staufer, and Martin Tschanz.


Deutsche Ausgabe

Edition française


Also available:

Building Additions in Steel: The Architecture of Vertical Extensions

Authors & Editors

Ingrid Burgdorf

Patric Fischli-Boson

Patric Furrer

Stephan Mäder

Marcel Meili

 (1953-2019), studied architecture at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich (1973–1980). In 1987, he formed an office in Zurich together with Markus Peter. He was teaching as a professor at the Faculty of Architecture of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich since 1999.

Daniel Meyer

 is a civil engineer and a lecturer at the Zurich University of Applied Sciences, Institute of Constructive Design.

Niko Nikolla

Tanja Reimer

Astrid Staufer

 is an architect, professor at Technische Universitat Vienna, and codirector of the Zurich University of Applied Sciences, Institute of Constructive Design, an interactive hub for teaching and research in building design and construction in Winterthur, Switzerland.

Martin Tschanz

is an architect and lecturer for theory and history of architecture at Zurich University of Applied Sciences in Winterthur.

ZHAW Institut Konstruktives Entwerfen