The work of Corinna Menn’s architecture office covers a wide spectrum of architectural assignments, involving various contexts and scales. The team’s core expertise lies in design and in project and implementation planning, whereby the office’s public and private commissions are largely the result of competitions and feasibility studies. As a working method, this mirrors a belief in design driven by repeatedly renewed research. Anchored in this is our deep interest in finding and formulating specific architectural interpretations and providing open-minded and open-ended answers to the pressing issues of the times.
Corinna Menn grew up in Chur and studied architecture at ETH Zurich, graduating in 2000. Her studies were flanked by a year’s traineeship in Berlin and exchange studies at the Graduate School of Design at Harvard University in Cambridge, MA. After working for Herzog & de Meuron Architekten in Basel, she then went on to found her own architecture office in 2002. Following her first realised buildings in Grisons, she relocated her office from Chur to Zurich and expanded her field of work.
The office’s projects deal with issues that commonly arise in alpine and rural but also urban settings. Based on an understanding of cultural and material sustainability and longevity, place and object constitute the starting points for all the projects, as well as providing a vital creative source. In both realised and planned projects, the crucial endeavour is to draw productively from the contexts of protected landscapes and cultural heritage, as well as the idea of building with the existing. In terms of architecture, the designs are distinguished by the perpetual themes of structure, space and material tectonics. Whether it be new buildings, remodelling conversions or infrastructure projects, the office’s work is also characterised by ideating and implementing innovative load-bearing concepts. As well as concentrating on smaller individual objects, at an urban-planning level the core skills of the office and the team lie in the development and repurposing of large-scale sites for new residency or new mixed uses. This wide range of critical frictions not only demands interdisciplinary collaborations with other specialists but indeed are stimulated by them.
As a corollary, the office’s deep interest in Alpine living environments has also led to providing long-standing consultancy services, giving successful professional building advice in Grisons and Vorarlberg.
The office’s buildings have been awarded various prizes, including: the Prix Acier 2007, Auszeichnung Gute Bauten Graubünden 2013, the Best Architects Award 2015 in gold, and the Seismic Award 2018. The office’s earlier projects and buildings appeared in 2009 in the monograph series Anthologie 11 with Quart-Verlag, followed by being showcased in various professional national and international publications.
The work realised in the office is mutually coupled with academic teaching. Following positions at the Lucerne School of Engineering and Architecture (2009–2010) and the University of Liechtenstein (2018–2019), from 2021 to 2023 Corinna Menn taught as a guest lecturer for Architecture and Design at ETH Zurich.
Curriculum Vitae Corinna Menn
|Own architectural practice in Zurich / Chur
|Project architect with Herzog & de Meuron Architekten, Basel
|Degree in architecture, ETH Zurich
|Architectural studies, ETH Zurich
|Graduate School of Design, Harvard University, Cambridge MA/USA
|Internship with Prof. Hans Kollhoff, Berlin
|Graubündner Kantonsschule Chur
|August 1974 in Chur, Switzerland
Consulting Expert Activites
|Urban Planning Advisory Board Dornbirn, Austria
|Building consultancy for the municipalities of Tujetsch and Ilanz, Grisons, Switzerland
|Architectural consultancy for the engineering structures of the Rhätische Bahn, Grisons, Switzerland
|Expert juror in numerous architectural competitions for public and private developers in Switzerland
|Juror in national and international architectural and art prize awards
Engagement in Professional Associations
|Member of the administrative board of the Schweizer Baumuster-Centrale Zurich (SBCZ)
|Member of the Federation of Swiss Architects (FSA), Zurich section
|Vice President of the Swiss Society of Engineers and Architects (SIA), Gisons
|Member of the Swiss Society of Engineers and Architects (SIA), Gisons section
|Guest lectureship in architecture and design, ETH Zurich, Department of Architecture
Guest lectureship in architecture and design, University of Liechtenstein
|Guest lectureship in design and construction, Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts
|Guest critic at numerous national and international architectural schools
Arc Award 2018, Schweizer Baudokumentation, nomination, office building Unterstrasse, St. Gallen
Seismic Award 2018, SBE, special mention, office building St. Gallen
|Die Besten 2017, Hochparterre, recognition, office building St. Gallen
Gute Bauten Graubünden 2013, prize, modernisation Chesa Gabriel Samedan
best architects 15 in Gold, prize, modernisation Chesa Gabriel Samedan
|best architects 11, prize, row housing Tamins
|Prix Acier, Stahlbau Zentrum Schweiz, recognition, viewing platform Flims
|Cultural Sponsorship Prize of the City of Chur
|2nd Heinrich Hatt-Bucher-Preis, prize, diploma thesis, ETH Zurich
Antonin Brünner, MSc Arch. LUH
Francesca Costi, MSc Arch. USI AAM
Dominic Deppeler, cand. MSc Arch. ETH
Susanne Sauter, Dipl. Ing. Arch. TU MAS ETH gta
|Regula Andriuet, Zoe Auf der Maur, Valentina Barberio, Michael Bösch, Alexander Copeman, Christoph Dubler, Sonja Fankhauser, Alice Valentina Fiorini, Adrian Goeck, Andreas Hungerbühler, Iso Huonder, Claudia Jeltsch, Tu Lan, Christian Lendi, Katarina Meitz, Frieda Merkel, Nicolas Meyer, Zoran Miletic, Jessica Molina, Fabio Neves, Gaia Pelizzari, Tamara Prader, Reinhard Prikoszovich, Alberto Rossi, Eva Ruof, Philipp Sax, Daniela Schadegg, Katie Schakat, Christian Schibli, Patrick Schnyder, Valerie Schönjahn, Sven Schönwetter, Ernst Steppon, Tomasz Szmerdt, Joao de Melo Veiga, Alexandra Walczuch, Doris Wyss, Francesca Zecca