Barbara Huser & Eric Honegger

Barbara Huser & Eric Honegger

“Retaining what already exists and can be reused.”
Barbara Buser and Eric Honegger

Jury Statement

Pioneers in revaluating existing structures on all scales and reactivating obsolete ones, Barbara Buser and Eric Honegger have for many years now unwaveringly pursued an ecological and political creed. Their realised projects are the fruit of inclusive and participative processes and have become a point of reference in the art of listening to a context and its users. Modesty and a focus on the essential characterise their interventions which, in an intelligent and innovative manner, put into practise principles of modularity, recycling and restructuring and have thus entered into the zeitgeist.

Barbara Buser (born 1954 in Zurich, lives in Basel) and
Eric Honegger (born 1966 in Zurich, lives in Basel)

Pioneers of Sustainability. For more than twenty years now, Barbara Buser and Eric Honegger have been concerned with the recycling of architectural elements and the conservation, appropriation and renovation of buildings. Their idea of architecture opposes “starchitecture”. It operates outside of the systems and, to date, is without much competition. Barbara Buser und Eric Honegger convert vacant buildings into living spaces and create new urban structures for entire city districts.

In 1995, Barbara Buser first established the “Bauteilbörse”, an exchange for recycling building components which are no longer used. In 1998, after experiences in countries like Tanzania and the Balkan states, Barbara Buser and Eric Honegger founded their architectural Baubüro Mitte, which is now called baubüro in situ. For a start, they converted the former offices of the Schweizerische Volksbank in Basel into a workspace and a highly popular café called “Unternehmen Mitte”. In 2000, they founded the Gundeldinger Feld and Kantensprung AG and revived the Gundeldingen quarter by revitalising the industrial area of the former Sulzer Burckhardt factory and its surroundings. Their new projects include the conversion of the Alte Markthalle in Basel, the Lagerplatz in Winterthur and the Kindl Areal in Berlin.

Barbara Buser and Eric Honegger have established the “unterdessen” (“in the meantime”) association for the temporary use of private property and, together with Tabea Michaelis and Pascal Biedermann, they run the think tank “denkstatt sàrl” which develops projects in urban and rural contexts.