Creative Economies

Focus: The Architecture Market

The creative economies as an exclusively urban phenomenon? This criterion barely seems to apply to architecture.

The clearly structured architecture market is one of the largest submarkets of the creative industries in Switzerland: almost 16,000 businesses employ over 56,000 people. Equally impressive is the total turnover of CHF 11 billion, which are only exceeded by the software and games industry.

The dynamic development in 2013 / 2015 reads accordingly, with all figures showing positive growth: Businesses + 3.0 %, employees + 3.3 %, gross value added + 8.0 %, total turnover + 0.9 %. The largest share is accounted for by architectural offices, followed by interior designers and landscape planners.

Voices from the Architecture Market

“This recalls the debates on some of the most pressing challenges of our time, such as the decarbonisation of our energy system, the consolidation of our estates or the digitisation of our lives.”

Stefan Cadosch. Source: 2016 SIA Annual Report; Date: 15 July 2017

The construction industry is strongly affected by current issues such as digitisation and energy strategy. Despite differing interests, it is called upon to find joint solutions.

Source: Press release «Swissbau Focus», Swissbau 2018; Date: 28 November 2017

“Reproducing Swiss quality abroad just for the sake of it makes no sense.”

Jacques Herzog

But there are also more concrete reasons for the global success of Swiss architecture: the country’s good schools of architecture, the robust building trade or healthy competition, which also gives young offices a chance to get involved.

Source: Newsnet / Der Bund: Die Schweiz ist Architektur-Exportweltmeisterin; Date: 15 July 2017

Swiss architecture is the most outstanding cultural product of our country, which is valued just as highly in Brazil as in Japan and exists without subsidies. The creative breadth of contemporary Swiss architecture is impressive. What emerges between Geneva and Romanshorn can no longer be determined by trends, materials, forms and themes. Building is characterised by tremendous variety. It is a fire without a face or put differently: the architectural landscape is atomised.

Source: NZZ am Sonntag: Architektur ohne Gesicht, Author: Gerhard Mack, Date: 19. March 2017

“Architects and engineers, overwhelmed by third parties trivialising building culture, by planners being disenfranchised by regulatory madness and increasingly complex standards, and not least by excessive litigation, caused by the high susceptibility to errors due to planning during construction, are currently breathing a sigh of relief. They are finally feeling like creative professionals again and are experiencing social recognition.”

“The opposite of building culture is currently the financially driven barbarism of short-term yield optimisation, which elsewhere ultimately leaves behind only a defenceless, disenfranchised citizen as a pure consumer in dying districts and cities.” (Dr. Markus Johow)

Source: Verband Deutscher Architektenund Ingenieurvereine e.V. BAUKULTUR 5_2017: Editorial; Date: 13 August 2017