Chair of the History and Theory of Architecture
Prof. Dr. Maarten Delbeke
About Us

  1. Discussion with Tomaso Montanari on the political, disciplinary and urban dimensions of art history at the Istituto di Cultura Italiana di Zurigo, 2023. Credit: Liliana Lafranchi Photography
  2. Insights of our seminarweek 'Slices of Belgium' (HS22), together with the chair of Gigon Guyer.
  3. Visiting the incredible Kloster of Muri AG together with the master thesis students of the Chair Jan De Vylder, Silke Langenberg and Maarten Delbeke.
  4. Visit to the "Orientalischer Rauchsalon" of Schloss Oberhofen, as part of our Fachsemester "Exotic Architecture in Switzerland" (FS 22).
  5. eminar Week to Greece (FS22): At the Rotunda of Thessaloniki.
  6. Visit to the "Oriental" rooms of Henri Moser at the Bernisches Historisches Museum, as part of our Fachsemester "Exotic Architecture in Switzerland" (FS 22).
  7. Seminar Week to Greece (FS22): Discovering a view of Frankfurt on the walls of the Maliongas mansion in Siatista.
  8. issue of gta papers 6: «The Cornice», edited by Maarten Delbeke and Erik Wegerhoff
  9. Seminarwoche HS21: «Cutting Across Imperial Spain: Affinities and Ruptures After 1492», Oktober 2021
  10. Seminar week HS21: "Cutting Across Imperial Spain: Affinities and Ruptures after 1492", October 2021
  11. Seminar week HS21: "Cutting Across Imperial Spain: Affinities and Ruptures after 1492", October 2021
  12. Book Launch Werk, Bauen + Wohnen: «Gesims. Von der Fläche zum Raum», September 2021
  13. Exhibition: "The Hidden Horizontal: Cornices in Art and Architecture", 25 August-14 November 2021
  14. Jacques-François Blondel's "Cours d’architecture" (1771-1777) acquired by the chair, here depicted in restoration for the cornice exhibition at Graphische Sammlung ETH Zürich, August 2021
  15. Preparations for the "Cornice Exhibition" in Graphische Sammlung ETH Zurich, August 2021

The chair is responsible for teaching and research in the history and theory of art and architecture c.1400–1850, in close concert with the other chairs of the gta. We understand this as examining and testing the relevance of this history in the context of a department of architecture – not with the aim of sustaining a narrowly defined operative view of history, but instead in terms of understanding the complexity of architecture, its meaning, agency, and legitimacy, by means of an intricate reading of its past.

Historical architecture inspires enthusiasm precisely when historical distance is at once recognized and overcome in a close encounter with the various artifacts that populate our present. In that sense, we aim at making history graspable in our teaching and events – on field trips, visits to libraries and encounters with books both as physical objects and in our Xenotheka, in discussions with contemporary architects, historians, and other guests.

The images above give an impression of what we, together with our students, have been up to recently. Have a look – and do join us for upcoming events.