Harry Gugger Studio

A constant beginning

Aren’t we all constant beginners advancing in life?

We find this view liberating and we believe that this unbiased perspective deserves to be celebrated and should not be obscured nor by experience and routine nor by ideology.

Doesn’t this view speak of a Dilettante’s approach?

As admirers of art and science we cultivate our knowledge out of inherent interest with passion and pleasure. We deliberately attain the necessary openness that allows us to abandon the architect’s traditional role as the author of an architectural project, in favour of a multiple authorship of architect, client and the adequate specialists.

How reliable are admirers?

Professional in our organization and precise in our work method we cultivate a sense of impartiality in order to grasp the unique character of each project. This approach leads to an extensive examination of all given conditions and a lively dialogue with the client and the engaged consultants.

What is the power of conversation?

The dialogue serves to find the optimal interlacing between conditions given by the site, client requests, programme specificities and building technology. Thereby, we aim at creating a readable, emblematic, functional and enduring architecture that benefits the community and the environment alike.

Who we are

Harry Gugger established Harry Gugger Studio (HGS) in 2010 in order to create closer ties between his academic work and practice. He aimed at creating an environment that fathoms synergies from his two decades of partnership at Herzog & de Meuron and the research work of his chair ‘Laboratoire Bâle’ at the Swiss Federal Technical Institute in Lausanne (EPFL). In doing so, distinct interrogations of science, engineering, environment, society and art should find vigilant responses.

Already within its first years of practice, the Studio, based in Basel, successfully designed and executed work in Switzerland, Canada the Middle East and Central America. Projects range in scale and functions, from urban schemes and civic buildings, to private houses, exhibitions and furniture. Particular emphasis is placed on the singularity of each project, aiming at exploring its distinct potential, in close collaboration between HGS, clients, users and corresponding consultants.

We are a tightly organised, highly skilled international team with a wealth of experience and an exemplary portfolio of realised projects. We combine an innate Swiss precision with a broader international outlook to create unique and robust architectural solutions that blend these contrasting perspectives. We draw upon our worldwide network of specialist consultants, scientists and artists to amplify the knowledge base of our in-house teams. We activate this network in a project- and phase-specific manner, in order to develop fully integrated projects that respond to the given demands in the best way possible.

What we do

We wish to develop a shared ambition

Together with our clients we share the ambition to uncover the core of each project and produce distinct, intriguing and considered architecture in an open, holistic and cost-conscious manner. Whether we are working on urban design schemes, an individual building, interior space or a single piece of furniture this ‘shared ambition’ is the touchstone that we always refer to in developing the design.

We cultivate collaboration and research

Our collaborative, analytical approach to work is pioneering. We define the needs of each project by thoroughly exploring the brief, the context and the demands of all stakeholders. We then firmly pursue these demands from conception to completion. Our inclusive methodology consolidates knowledge from multiple disciplines so that we can accommodate the diverse interests of our clients, social welfare, public space and the environment in our designs. This way we generate added value for all stakeholders.

We deliver bespoke design

We do not cultivate a personal style or pursue formal preferences in our designs. Our approach ensures the development of an elaborate and distinctive architecture that successfully embraces and serves social, economical and ecological demands.


2020 best architects 21
Silo Erlenmatt in Basel wins the best architects 21

2019 - Heritage Awards of the city of Vancouver,
award of honour for The Exchange

2018- International Highrise Award nominee for 'The Exchange'

2017- American Architecture Prize - Design of the Year 2017 in the category of Heritage Architecture for 'The Exchange'

2013- The Most Beautiful Swiss Books 2012
Laba’s recent publication Barents Lessons as one of the 'Most Beautiful Swiss Books 2012', by the Swiss Federal Office of Culture (BAK).

2010- Golden Lion, Venice Architecture Biennale
Golden Lion of the Venice Architecture Biennale for the National Pavilion of Bahrain

2009- "Premio de Urbanismo ..."
CaixaForum-Madrid receives the "Premio de Urbanismo y Construcción de la Ciudad" of X Bienal de Arquitectura Española; ES

2004- The Prix Meret Oppenheim Award
Harry Gugger is awarded the Prix Meret Oppenheim, Office Fédéral de la Culture, CH

2003- RIBA Stirling Prize
Laban Dance Center, London, UK wins RIBA Stirling Prize

1999- Brandenburgischer Architekturpreis
Brandenburgischer Architekturpreis 1999, Land Brandenburg/D for the Library Technical School Eberswalde, DE

1999- Rolf Schock Prize for the Visual Arts
Rolf Schock Prize for the Visual Arts, Stockholm

1996- Construtec Prize
Construtec Prize for the Signal Box in Basel, European Prize for Industrial Architecture, Hannover, DE

1996- Max Beckmann Award
Max Beckmann Award, Frankfurt a. M., DE

1996- Brunel Award 1995
Brunel Award 1995, Washington DC for the Railway Engine Depot Auf dem Wolf in Basel, US

1995- Brunel Award 1994
Brunel Award 1994, Washington DC for the Signal Box in Basel, US


Detail - Review of Architecture + Construction Details - Housing and Commercial Development in Basel - September 2017

hochparterre Funde – “Schneller Basler”

Boston Society of Architects Award 2013
“These awards honor big ideas!”

Architekturgespräch Einsiedeln: Was ist Architektur?
Architekturgespräch Einsiedeln – 17.11.2012 – Harry Gugger

Was ist Architektur?

“Un artiste intransigeant et libre”
Le Temps – 24.09.2012 – Harry Gugger

Planspiele für 16 Millionen Schweizer
Basler Zeitung – 10.01.2012 – Harry Gugger

Harry Gugger Studio is hiring!

Take a look at our current vacancies