The art installation Transfähre was part of the "Lüchtturm" 2019 on Saffa Island during the 40th Zurich Theater Spektakel, where a new meeting place was created for the duration of the spectacle. A lively free space for friends and strangers - without the pressure of consumption and tickets. For three weeks it offered space for a wide variety of activities.


The floating pavilion symbolizes the life of the refugees. The faded narrow sides of the raft represent the lives left behind and the uncertain future prospects here in Switzerland, because their knowledge and skills are often neither recognized nor appreciated. The long open sides stand for the transformation into a new life full of new experiences, friendships and opportunities, into the here and now. Being on the transfer ferry, one never really saw exactly where the journey was going.


Without a fixed schedule, crossings from the Saffa to the mainland and back took place during the spectacle. A blackboard oriented the visitors about the installation, but this service was not offered directly. Instead, people could join us whenever we shouted "crossing". The approximately three tons of buoyancy gave our raft a capacity for about 30 people before it was pushed under water.


The wooden profiles are made of pine from Zurich and should also be an investment for future building projects from us. The "nail boards" - i.e. what holds the profiles together - are recycled waste wood from the spectacle itself, as well as from the climate festival on the Hardturm fallow. We were able to borrow the floats locally in Zurich, so-called "Jetfloat" elements, which we put together to form a 3x4m raft.

Link from Lüchtturm


In June 2018 we were asked by Lüchtturm if we would like to participate in their festival in the stadium wasteland Hardturm. We agreed right away that we also wanted to be there.

Fallow land for everyone! Three summer days of a non-profit festival for everyone to join in. Free of commerce, open for experiments and creative initiatives. Together with a wide variety of actors, we played in this urban open space.

We diverted a delivery van with material from a conversion project that would have been disposed of directly, across the stadium wasteland and thus maintained a "living room" on the large square for three days. The living room, covered by an old paraglider, offered several benches and tables including a built-in grill as well as a fan and library for the hot hours. Thus, a space for all kinds of interactions was created on the huge asphalt surface. Among other things, our "Summer chair", a kind of portable camping chair, could be built there under guidance. The whole festival functioned exclusively through collections during its entire duration.

Link to Lüchtturm


In June 2020 we were asked by the Autonomous School of Zurich to realize a summer use of the inner courtyard. Due to the measures against COVID-19 they had to close their café on the first floor, because the distances there could not be kept. For many people, the café replaces the living room, as they live in asylum centers scattered throughout the canton, where such rooms are often lacking. It was therefore important to the operators* to find a weatherproof replacement as soon as possible so that this meeting place can function again with the measures taken.

The result is a construction planned and built on site together with the users. Our "Mother Hexagon" pavilion was used for the second time: the element construction can be easily assembled in one day. In the meantime, intensive consideration was already being given to how a covered area could be built from the material available on site: We received many tarpaulins from the Helmhaus from past exhibitions, which we were able to connect to form a continuous roof area, thus determining the size of the roof. The supporting structure consists, similar to the "transfer ferry", of three frames prefabricated on the ground, which are then brought into position with a lot of "woManpower". Trusses connect the frames with each other, the pavilion and the ramp form the two "corner pillars". Equipped with a wall panel, the roofed area could also be used as an "outdoor classroom".

The construction phase took a good two weeks and enjoyed a great deal of participation from a wide variety of people. In addition to the actual building work, the tables and benches were repainted, a garden was laid out and people got to know each other. Inclusion through collective building, through doing something together. It is amazing what such a community is capable of. The built result here almost recedes into the background.

Link to Autonomen Schule Zürich


Together like bees is a hexagonal pavilion developed together with the association ExpoTranskultur (ETK) for the intercultural weeks of "About us!" which took place in September 2019 at Stadelhoferplatz. It is modeled on a honeycomb that has been enlarged to human scale and thus represents the collective vein of bees. Planted as well as with "urban knitting" covered walls stand for the collective creativity of people from our two communities. Throughout the entire duration, it has stood in the middle of Stadelhoferplatz and has provided space for a wide variety of intercultural activities. It was built in a weekly construction workshop by our community in elements that now allow the pavilion to be set up in any location within a day.

Link to ExpoTranskultur

Link to About Us!




The Autonomous School of Zurich is well known to all those who are involved with the topic of refugees. It is committed to fighting racism and injustice and offers migrants free instruction in German, mathematics and English, among other languages. And all this on a voluntary basis and free of charge. In October 2017 they approached us with the request to support them in the reconstruction of their school, which is already aging. It was clear to us right away that we would be happy to help them and together with them and the migrants, we would tackle it. After a few meetings together, we decided which reconstruction measures were necessary. All rooms are to be repainted, and some of them are to be newly insulated and planked. They were given new and, above all, more lights, since these had been inadequate until now. Another wish was the WC facilities. They also got a new paint, a new lighting and some accessories like mirrors. Together with all the volunteers we managed to complete the reconstruction in the planned time of about 3 weeks. At the end of February 2018 we finished the reconstruction and everyone was very proud, a little tired but happy to have done it. 

Link of Autonome Schule Zürich
Autonome Schule Zürich - FACEBOOK




Matura work by Gian Hugi who deals with the topic of architecture, temporary construction and recycling. In the course of his work, he wants to develop and build 1.1 accommodation that is not only sustainable, simply built and adapted to individual needs, but that can also be built all over the world with the simplest tools.

A Multipurpose Shelter - FACEBOOK


Under the name "A multipurpose shelter", Gian Hugi is developing an accommodation structure that can be used for various purposes. Architecture for Refugees SWITZERLAND supports him in this. In order to be able to cover the various needs that arise from different applications, he has developed a modular plug-in system based on two square meter wall modules. Such a wall module can be built from inexpensive materials such as corrugated cardboard and wooden slats. The estimated material costs in small series amount to about twenty francs per wall module. It must be counted, with sufficient experience, on a construction time of approximately one hour. Depending on the material used, a further hour of work may be required for preparation. The individual purposes strongly define the size and material quality of the structure. A possible application is the construction of exhibition stands and premium open-air accommodation. Or the modules could be used as movable walls, as is the case today. There are no limits to the imagination! One application I would like to emphasize is the integration and accommodation of refugees. Due to the lack of privacy in the asylum accommodations, the need for a retreat is often very strong. The project could also build favorable retreat areas for refugees in Switzerland. Furthermore, the module structure can be used as temporary accommodation in the border regions of Europe. Furthermore, refugees could also be used for the production of such modules, which would enable them to enter the Swiss labor market under fair conditions. At the end of the project, the construction plans will be made available online. It is desirable to rebuild and improve the structure (open-source idea). For humanitarian purposes (refugees, development aid...) the construction plans will be available completely free of charge.