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Markus Breitschmid


Markus Breitschmid is a Swiss-American architecture theoretician and an author on architecture. Breitschmid’s international impact in the discipline of architecture stems from a series of books and other writings in such journals as a+u, Casabella, Domus and El Croquis. Breitschmid’s most highly influential books are Der bauende Geist. Friedrich Nietzsche und die Architektur (2001), The Significance of the Idea (2008), and Non-Referential Architecture (2018). His writings have been translated into Arabic, Chinese, English, French, German, Hindi, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Russian, and Spanish. Breitschmid’s work has been exhibited and presented at the Biennale Architettura di Venezia in Venice, the Galerie d’Architecture in Paris, the Architecture Biennale of Chicago, the Trienal de Arquitectura de Lisboa in Lisbon, the Bund Deutscher Architekten Galerie in Berlin, the Royal Institute of British Architects in London, and at the Museo de Arte de Lima in Lima. 


ARCH 2015/2016: Architecture II
ARCH 4114: Ideas, Concepts, and Representations of Architecture
ARCH 4514: Thesis Inquiry
ARCH 4515/4516: Architecture V
ARCH 4523: Thesis Documentation

[Selected Publications]

·       Der bauende Geist. Friedrich Nietzsche und die Architektur. Lucerne: Quart, 2001.

·       Can Architectural Art-Form be Designed Out of Construction? Architecture Edition, 2004.

·       Nietzsche's Denkraum. Berne: Edition Didacta, 2006.

·       Between Object and Culture, in: Wolkenkuckucksheim - Cloud-Cuckoo-Land - Vozdushnyi zamo. Eduard Fuehr (ed.), Cottbus: No. 2/2007.

·       Three Architects in Switzerland: Beat Consoni – Morger & Degalo – Valerio Olgiati. Lucerne: Quart, 2008.

·       Un’architettura che, in fondo, e ‘solo’ astratta, in: Casabella. Francesco Dal Co (ed.), Milano: 72/No.770, 2008.

·       The Significance of the Idea / Die Bedeutung der Idee. Sulgen: Niggli Verlag, 2008.

·       El Inventorio Conceptual de Valerio Olgiati / Valerio Olgiati's Ideational Inventory in: El Croquis No.156, Madrid, 2011. 

·       Olgiati. English Edition. Basel: Birkhäuser, 2011. [text edited with Leina Gonzalez; also available in German, French, Italian, Spanish, and Japanese editions]

·       The Architect as 'Molder of the Sensibilities of the General Public': Bruno Taut and his Architekturprogramm. in: The Art of Social Critique. Painting Mirrors of Social Life, Lexington Books, Lanham-Maryland, 2012.

·       Christ & Gantenbein. Around the Corner. Ostfildern: Hatje & Cantz, 2012.

·       Architektur leitet sich von Architektur ab. in: Werk, Bauen + Wohnen, No. 9, Zurich, 2014.

·       Mais Além! in: Indexnewspaper, No. 5, Porto, 2016. 

·       Bruno Taut - Glass House at Cologne. in: Harry Francis Mallgrave, David Leatherbarrow, Alexander Eisenschmidt (eds.) The Companions to the History of Architecture, Volume IV, Twentieth-Century Architecture, John Wiley & Sons, Inc., London, 2017.

·       Non-Referential Architecture. Basel: Simonett & Baer 2018.

·       Nicht-Referenzielle Architektur. Basel: Simonett & Baer 2018.

·       Non-Referential Architecture. 2nd edition, Zurich: Park Books 2019.

·       Nicht-Referenzielle Architektur. 2. Auflage, Zurich: Park Books 2019.

·       Architettura Non-Referenziale. Zurich: Park Books 2019.

·       "Architektur der Berge": Bruno Taut. in: Thinking in Thin Air. Anthology of a Decade Engadin Art Talks, Zurich: Lars Müller Publishers 2020.

·       Arquitectura No-Referencial. Ciudad de México: Arquine 2020.

·       Ogni edificio esiste per se stesso. in: Domus. No.1054, Milano, 2021.

·       Architecture Non-Référentielle. Marseille: Cosa Mentale 2021.

·       Suiza in: Irene Arce; Johann Schweig (eds.) Theodor Cron, Lima: Mirada Libre, 2022

·       La Stanze Italiane di Theodor Cron / The Italian Rooms by Theodor Cron. Markus Breitschmid; Enrico Molteni (eds.) Genova: Genova University Press, 2023  

Breitschmid is a registered architect. Breitschmid is a professor at Virginia Tech, where he has taught in Blacksburg, at the Washington-Alexandria Architecture Center, and the Center for European Studies and Architecture in Riva San Vitale, since 2004. He holds a visiting professorship for architectural theory at the Universidad de Piura since 2020. In 2016, Breitschmid was appointed to the diploma commission of the Accademia di Architettura in Mendrisio. Breitschmid had teaching appointments at Cornell University, the University of North Carolina,the Catholic University of America, and the University of Louisiana. Breitschmid has been an invited lecturer and critic at many universities, professional associations, and museums in the Americas, Asia, and Europe. He has served as a faculty councilor at the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture (ACSA) from 2009 to 2021, as a program chair of Virginia Tech’s architecture program from 2011 to 2014, and as a representative on the National Architectural Accreditation Board (NAAB) since 2012.


Ph.D., Technical University of Berlin

M.Arch., Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

B.Sc.Arch., Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts

Lieutenant, Military Academy - Federal Swiss Department of Armed Forces