Even if you wouldn't consider yourself an architecture aficionado, there's still nothing quite like that feeling you get while looking at a beautiful building.
Every piece of steel represents countless hours of care, passion, and attention to detail. Each accent symbolizes the hard work and innovation of a team of people who make it look effortless—even though we know it isn’t.
What you don't see while craning your neck to take in that building is the 200-reply email chain filled with people trying to decide on the exact color scheme of the floor in the lobby. You weren’t there for the never-ending messages of people arguing about why it's so important that the atriums on the first, third, and eighth floors go together—even though most people won't experience them that way.
The sheer level of collaboration necessary to bring that incredible building to life is immense—and, with old technologies, it's a lot more painstaking than people realize.
My journey into this field began years ago, when I started my career as a carpenter. During that time, I was able to gain an understanding—and even an appreciation—of architecture through the eyes of a builder.
After three years of my apprenticeship as a carpenter, it became clear to me that my real dream was to be an architect. Making a move like this is never easy, but it was particularly difficult. My career took me through multiple internships as a technical drawer and, at the end of all that, I finally made it into the School of Architecture and then became an assistant at ETH Zurich. I then did the Executive MBA program at HSG during my job at the Swiss Federal Railways SBB, and subsequently became professor at the Bern University of Applied Sciences on Virtual Design Construction.
Then, in 2011, I joined FSP at a time when we had 28 employees. Today, we have four different offices with over 70 employees. FSP is an architecture company working all over Switzerland for leading customers such as Swiss Airlines, Google, and ABB. We've had our hand in office and campus projects, healthcare buildings, commercial and industrial buildings, school buildings, residential structures—you name it.
While our history is essential, it's also a bit of a liability. Today, FSP is over 40 years old, which leads to several issues—the most pressing was that we were an analogue company in an increasingly digital world.
In architecture, everything from design principles to construction best practices constantly evolve. The definition of ‘quality design’ changes often, and companies are always looking for ways to do more with less and create leaner, more efficient processes whenever possible.
At FSP, the lack of new technologies became a constant uphill battle. Not only that, but mistakes happened often due to the outdated communication infrastructure.