Study in advance for Architecture Bachelor at ETH


Hello, I am currently a swiss highschool student and am looking forward to study architecture at the ETH next year when I finish highschool.

I know it is extremely tough there and would therefore really want to study the subject in advance so I can already have an idea of the content of the classes.
I really don't want to sound like a lazy guy but does anybody know if it is possible to find the content of there classes or something near somewhere (books, online, ...)?
I of course suppose that there content must be protected. Could you guys recommend me good academical architecture books that I could buy to build good university level knowledge ? It would be extremely kind and helpful!

Thank you for your time!

Jul 20, 21 2:48 pm

go travel and see the stuff they put in books in person...

Jul 20, 21 4:09 pm  · 
1  · 
Non Sequitur

and cary a sketchbook. bonus if you use it.

Jul 20, 21 4:42 pm  · 

In Zurich? I live in Geneva I wouldn't mind but idk if they would let me see the content of their course. Idk if it's even focused on books. It's maybe all oral.. (?)

Jul 20, 21 5:28 pm  · 
Non Sequitur

Travelling and learning to sketch out quickly what you see and what you’re think about will be ten times more helpful than reading some random textbook (which likely does not exist).

Jul 20, 21 6:23 pm  · 

The ETH curriculum is so rigorous. I lived with a guy in Zurich that studied the first three years of the programme, I almost fell over when he showed me his building science course curriculum: it was a massive printout with so much scope and detail, so you're unlikely to gain access to it. I'm endlessly impressed by the school though so you should enjoy your time there.

'Constructing Architecture' seems to be a key book in the course which was written by Andrea Deplazes (one of the professors there). It is a great intro to building construction and detailing, and how this translates into architectural expression. It is a hefty book, but very accesible, there are great essays and beautiful details which are well annotated. Having a familiarity with this one book would set you ahead of the curve, make sure to get the latest edition (there are great projects in some of the older editions that got taken out :( ). In addition to that, I would recommend reading about the professors who teach there: Gigon/Guyer, Peter Maerkli (he has retired but he was a massive figure in the school), Meili Peter, Tom Emerson, Adam Caruso. There are too many great practices to name. But almost all these guys have their own monograph and many interviews online and published across different journals. A good tip (I think) is that reading or listening to interviews can give you massive insights about why the architect designs and conceptualises buildings in the way they do. Visiting those buildings and making your own observations about them through drawings (either quick observation sketches or slower detailed studies) will add to your understanding. But don't get disenfranchised if your sketching abilities are not amazing, you can learn all of that.

Good luck, ETH is an excellent choice.

Jul 21, 21 4:35 am  · 

Hey, thank you for your answer! I just have the book from Andrea Deplazes tha you said. The third edition, is that the latest one?

Jul 21, 21 9:45 am  · 

Other than that I have been told that the books „Neufert“ from Ernst Neufert and „Bâtir“ from Vittone René were great. Do you have any other sources to suggest? Thank you anyway for you answer!

Jul 21, 21 9:47 am  · 

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