About us

About us

We means «us». We don’t belong to anybody, never have. This makes us independent and shapes our culture.

We focus on people and their environment. In architecture as well as in our company.

Facts and figures

  • Founded in Bern in 1922
  • Seven locations in Switzerland and three in Germany
  • Approx. 300 employees
  • Training company with approx. 16 apprentices and 10 trainees
  • Approximately 2700 completed and 100 ongoing projects
  • Monthly construction sum approx. CHF 30 million
Zahlen und Fakten


Our 300 specialists and generalists from 17 nations combine their experience and know-how in daily project work. Together they develop well-founded interdisciplinary solutions.


  • 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.

Values we stand for

As a traditional Swiss company, quality is our top priority.

Innovation is the driver we use to help shape the future and create sustainable solutions. Respect for our clients and employees is a matter of course, and defines the way we interact with one another. Openness – both internally and externally – provides clarity and is the basis for mutual trust. We support sustainability out of principle: We are one of very few Swiss general planners who can provide references for all existing environmental certificates. 

Our commitment as a sponsor of cultural and sports events and as a training organisation is an investment in our own future and that of the next generation to whom we impart our knowledge.

Effective network

We are very active in the leading associations and competence centres such as the Swiss Society of Engineers and Architects (SIA) and the Sustainable Construction Network Switzerland (Netzwerk Nachhaltiges Bauen Schweiz, NNBS) – with one goal: we want to help shape the future.