Frei Photographic Studio
Weil am Rhein, Germany
Project 1981, realization 1981-1982

Close to the Swiss-German border, in an area of three-storey apartment buildings of the fifties and free-standing houses of the turn of the century, a photographic studio was added to an existing two-storey house. Extending along the length of the back garden, the studio and the connecting corridor form two external spaces to the street, a car park and a garden. The east facing loggia contains offices and at its southern end forms a portico to the car park.

The pitched roof and trapezoid plan together form an internal space, with a perspective that effects and reiterates the programme’s theme. A pair of reinforced concrete beams support the roof structure and the north facing lights, recalling those of Le Corbusier at La Tourette (1957). The office wing is clad with a horizontal timber boarding. The studio’s east and south façades are clad with grained plywood boards. The west façade has bitumen sheets across the whole surface. Special hardwood corner details accentuate the pointedness of the building while covering the edges of the plywood sheets. The graphic treatment of the fence bearing the company’s name indicates an interest in the visualization of the building’s use.
Herzog & de Meuron, 1997


Herzog & de Meuron Team:
Partners: Jacques Herzog, Pierre de Meuron

Construction Management: Jacques Herzog, Pierre de Meuron
Structural Engineering: Helmut Pauli, Ingenieurbüro Schaub, Basel, Switzerland

Building Data:
Site Area: 1,900sqm / 20,451sqft
Footprint: 460sqm / 4,951sqft
Gross Floor Area: 600sqm / 6,458sqft


Gerhard Mack, Herzog & de Meuron: Herzog & de Meuron 1978-1988. The Complete Works. Volume 1.
Edited by: Gerhard Mack. Chinese ed. Beijing, China Architecture & Building Press, 2010. Vol. No. 1.

Luis Fernández-Galiano (Ed.): Arquitectura Viva. Herzog & de Meuron 1978-2007.
2nd rev. ed. Madrid, Arquitectura Viva, 2007.

Fernando Márquez Cecilia, Richard Levene (Eds.): El Croquis. Herzog & de Meuron 1981-2000. Between the Face and the Landscape. The Cunning of Cosmetics. Entre el Rostro y el Paisaje. La Astucia de la Cosmética.
2nd adv. and rev. ed. Vol. No. 60+84, Madrid, El Croquis, 2005.

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3rd adv. and rev. ed. Basel / Boston / Berlin, Birkhäuser, 1998. (= Studiopaperback).

Gerhard Mack, Herzog & de Meuron: Herzog & de Meuron 1978-1988. Das Gesamtwerk. Band 1. The Complete Works. Volume 1.
Edited by: Gerhard Mack. Basel / Boston / Berlin, Birkhäuser, 1997. Vol. No. 1.

Martin Steinmann: Fabrikbauten. Bâtiments industriels. Edifici industriali. Factory Buildings.
In: Schweizerische Verkehrszentrale (Ed.). Schweiz. Suisse. Svizzera. Svizra. Switzerland. Monatszeitschrift der Schweizerischen Verkehrszentrale und des öffentlichen Verkehrs. Neuere Architektur. Vol. No. 1, 1988. pp. 32-41.

Jacques Herzog, Pierre de Meuron: Fotostudio. Atelier d'un Photographe.
In: Verband freierwerbender Schweizer Architekten. Fédération Suisse des Architectes Indépendants FSAI (Ed.). Archithese. Zeitschrift und Schriftenreihe für Architektur und Kunst. Revue thématique d'Architecture et d'Art. Zweckarchitektur. Vol. No. 3, Niederteufen, Arthur Niggli, 05.1983. pp. 15-18.