Built on respect, proficiency and passion
We are a leading Swiss architectural office and general planning company with traditions and experience soon to stretch back 100 years. We have always been our own people, ever since. That makes us independent and it shapes our culture.
We put people and their environment at the heart of what we do - in our architecture and in the company. Our individual skills and experience come to fruition in a strong team - outwardly and inwardly.
We look back on our history with pride and into the future with passion. New challenges motivate us. We develop innovative, forward-looking and tailored solutions and we follow them through to completion.
You can rely on us
We plan, monitor and control the entire process from the initial planning stage to completion and commissioning, and we keep a constant eye on the critical trifecta of schedule, cost and quality. The experience we have gained from hundreds of complex construction projects has been distilled into practical tools, and our project managers regularly share their best practices, thereby ensuring that all of their combined vast experience is on tap for all our projects.
- Project organisation
- Supply and contract management
- Risk management
- Quality management
- Time and programme management
- Resource management
- Cost management
- Configuration management
- Information management
- Regulations, rules
The best solution for the specific context
A concept emerges from the location, the design brief, and through our own interpretation. Our architecture shapes spaces which, with their high practical value and ambience, evoke emotions. Our buildings pay homage to beauty above and beyond purely functional and technical demands. The questions we pose are ones of vision, of future scenarios, and of strategies.
- Procedural support
- Feasibility studies
- Basic evaluations
- Preliminary phase
- Creative management
Making complexity controllable
Planning for us means more than merely drafting the construction documentation. Thanks to our comprehensive experience based on intensive dialogues with technical experts and with authorities, we are able to cover every aspect relevant to the project.
- Project planning
- Building applications
- Tender planning
- Construction planning
- Detailed construction planning
- Technical coordination
- Planning management
Efficiency and quality
Every month across Europe we turn planning results into real buildings to a value of around 30 million Swiss francs. We organise, coordinate and manage the entire construction process. The standard we set ourselves in terms of efficiency and quality represents our top priority and we pay special attention to the logistics and critical path when we have complex projects to handle.
- Cost management
- Construction logistics andscheduling
- Quotations, tenders, awards, and contracts
- Construction administration
- Local construction management
- Technical consultations
- Quality management and construction risk management
- Building renovations and conversions
- Overall management of construction projects
A matter of trust
Construction administration is a matter of trust for us. As partners at your side, we utilise our experience in all aspects of the planning and construction phases, thereby relieving you of the burden of managing the project. Our experienced contract administrator will support you in defining the most important goals and the best possible organisation and construction sequence for the project: they will lay the groundwork to enable important decisions to be made and they will mediate between the needs of all the parties involved to ensure that your project will be a complete success both financially and architecturally.
- Consulting in real estate and construction-related issues
- Overall project management of construction syndicates
- Consulting in real estate and construction-related issues
- Active support in the search for properties and real estate
- Appraisals of real estate and properties
- Capital budgeting and return on investment calculations
- Organization and execution of prime contractor / general contractor competitions
- Organization and execution of architectural competitions / design contracts
- Supervision of quality, costs and schedule
- Management of builder's administration
What matters to us
For collaboration with added value
The basis for success is to have one common goal - the same for all partners in the project. Generalists and specialists must complement each other's strengths and embody the concept of interdisciplinary cooperation. Communication must be clear, transparent and appreciative.
We attach importance to maintaining our large network as you can never cover all areas of expertise alone. And we work with open structures and defined processes. To ensure that our team thinks and acts in a holistic and cross-disciplinary fashion throughout the project. We give our employees a lot of scope to allow them to reach their maximum potential. In order to never lose that one ingredient - pleasure in exceptional assignments.
The key to success
We have at our disposal a long tradition and comprehensive knowledge that our roughly 300 employees from 17 countries are constantly adding to. They are our capital and they carry the company together with our partners who all work for the company.
We are continually refining and reinforcing our structures and culture. Our matrix organisation supports the exchange of experience and expansion of knowledge. Our partner model promotes an entrepreneurial mentality. Further education is not only approved of but actively encouraged. To ensure that every single person helps to keep the constantly growing demands and complexity under control.
Early specialisation on hospital buildings
In 1922 Otto Rudolf Salvisberg and Otto Brechbühl set up a joint office in Bern thereby laying the foundation for IttenBrechbühl. The breakthrough came in 1924/25 with the competition for the Lory hospital which was followed by the infant home in Elfenau. They won their third 1st prize with the faculty buildings for the University of Bern. These projects established the office in the architectural scene of their day. The pair became the court architects for Hoffman-La Roche both at home and abroad from 1934 onwards. After Salvisberg's early death, Brechbühl took over the Bern office in 1940. In the 60s he was joined by Jakob Itten until the company grew to over 200 employees at the start of the 70s, and thanks to several major projects it established itself as a specialist for the health sector.
Rededication to quality of design
The economic downturn after the oil crisis led to a collapse in orders. In 1975 the banks forced Itten to hand over to a stronger partner, Motor Columbus.
At the end of 1979 the new managing director, Peter Staub, found a company in disarray. The workforce which had now shrunk to 80 employees, had little work and there were scarcely any design architects left. The internal rebuilding process began with long-term strategic planning. Staffed with young architects, the company succeeded in winning twelve 1st prizes from around 50 competitions, and architectural quality was reinstated as a central issue. The Technopark in Zurich, the treatment wing of Zurich's university hospital, the vocational school for nursing in Interlaken and the pathology unit in Bern were all projects from this period. The company also took on an increasing number of assignments where it acted as the developer, and it was the first to tackle Switzerland's industrial wastelands. In 1990 Motor Columbus withdrew from the company and it was taken over by Peter Staub and Hans Eggen.
Solid foundation for the future
In 1993 Gartenmann & Partner AG acquired IttenBrechbühl AG's shares. A new era begins. The staff of 45 employees soon grew to over 200. Further offices were opened, subject areas and the range of services continuously expanded. Besides design, major emphasis was placed on implementation and the tight intertwinement of skill and expertise across the entire planning and implementation process.
In 2012 Nick Gartenmann decided to settle his succession and transferred most of the shares to his co-managers of many years. Today's partners are committed to further strengthening and expanding this healthy and best-placed company.