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Marc Kocher (born 1965 in Bern) is a Swiss architect. He is considered a representative of New Urbanism, an architectural current that seeks to combine contemporary buildings with elements of classic European urban architecture.
Following his school leaving examinations in Bern, Kocher studied architecture at the ETH Zürich, u. a. with Fabio Reinhart. Already during his studies, he began work in the Milan agency of the architect Aldo Rossi, a protagonist of the Italian current of Rationalism, and subsequently a pioneer of postmodernism. Following completion of his studies, Kocher was active from 1989 until Rossi’s death in 1997 in his Milan agency. There he became familiar with the visual realization of Rossi’s designs. In 1993, he opened a German branch office for Rossi in Munich. Following the closure of Rossi’s Milan agency, Kocher returned to Zurich and in 1997 founded his own agency under the name Marc Kocher Architekten, which has since been active in Zurich and Berlin.
In 1998, Kocher built his first building in Berlin with a corner house that influenced the cityscape at the Hackescher Markt as part of the “Neuer Hackescher Markt” ensemble. Together with ARAssociati, he continued as of 1998 with the planning commenced with by Aldo Rossi for the reconstruction of the Venetian opera house Teatro La Fenice, which was destroyed by fire in 1996. Here he was primarily responsible for the reconstruction of the interior, especially of the sophisticated wall and ceiling decoration. This participation in the reconstruction of the opera house from the year 1792 was Marc Kocher’s first principal work. From 1999–2000, he was guest professor for two years at the University of Syracuse in New York state. With the conversion and expansion of the so-called Backfabrik, an industrial building in the Prenzlauer Allee in Berlin, the architect was in 2001 successful in revitalizing a historic ensemble into a modern office and commercial location. With his concept, Kocher expanded the surviving old buildings of the Backfabrik with his own additions. The elevated lift tower of the building has since then been crowned by a 12-meter high light column visible from afar.
In subsequent years, Kocher realized a series of residential buildings and refurbishing projects for existing structures, primarily in Berlin. Up to 2006, a residential and office ensemble was realized on the business premises of the machinery manufacturer Müller-Martini in Zurich as a perimeter development according to plans of Kocher and the Milan agency ARAssociati, the successor to the previous agency of Rossi.
Influence & Repertoire
The influence of Rossi over the years is especially apparent in the street façades with their pronounced archways. Kocher's Berlin projects share a commitment to the European block of urban houses and the repertoire of historical typologies and façade elements. Kocher lives and works in Berlin and Zurich. He is married with two children.
Despite his experience with the reconstruction of the Teatro La Fenice and the rededication of old buildings, Kocher differentiates himself from those representatives of New Urbanism who primarily occupy themselves with the imitation of historical forms of architecture. Instead, he looks for paths toward a contemporary reinterpretation of historical forms or establishes links with these through select typological citations. If the original façade of an existing building has been destroyed, he strives to give it back its character through the reconstruction of window frames, balustrades, and pilaster strips, etc.
Kocher initially draws all designs and the related views and isometric drawings in the classical manner by hand. These colored architectural drawings are an indispensable component of his design process.
Buildings & Projects
- Commercial building in Dirksenstraße at the corner of Hackescher Markt, Berlin (1998)
- Office and commercial building Backfabrik, Berlin (2001)
- Design for reconstruction of Berlin Palace, 2002
- Reconstruction of the Gran Teatro La Fenice, Venedig (2003; Fertigstellung)
- Residential and commercial building Müller-Martini-Areal, Zürich (2006)
- Villa Ball, Schwändi, Glarus, Schweiz (2007)
- Residential ensemble Palais KolleBelle, Berlin (2009)
- Residential building Jablonskistraße, Berlin (2011)
- Residential building Stargarder Straße, Berlin (2012)
- Residential building Fellini Residences, Berlin (2013)
- Hanse-Quartier in Anklam (2014/17)
- Residential and commercial building Entrée Weißensee, Berlin (2018)
- Marc Kocher: Skizzen für ein neues Stadtquartier, Berlin 1999.
- Florian Urban: Residences in the inner city since 1970, Berlin 2017.
- Harald Streck: Neue Stadtbaukultur, Berlin 2017.
- Marc Kocher: Bauten und Projekte, foreword by Prof. Helmut Geisert, Berlin 2019
- "Profil". Retrieved 2019-02-26.
- "Wohn- und Geschäftshaus Dircksenstrasse 52 BERLIN". Architektur-Bildarchiv.
- "BACKFABRIK – Historie". Retrieved 2019-02-26.
- Hegenberger, Ina. "Die Gefahr der Sinnentleerung durch Reduktion". Berlin vis-à-vis - Das Magazin für Stadt Entwicklung.
- Diton, Maurizio. "The Office Copier and Baptism by Colour: Working for Rossi in the 1990s". Drawing Matter.
- Mischke, Roland. "Alt und Neu perfekt gemixt". Berliner Morgenpost.
- "Die neue Backfabrik des Rossi-Schülers Marc Kocher". DIE WELT.
- Jürgens, Isabell; Westphal, Dirk. "Es geht um das Herz von Berlins Mitte". DIE WELT.
- Haubrich, Rainer. "Wo es war, wie es war". DIE WELT.
- von Borries, Christian. "Wohnkomplex "Palais KolleBelle"". „/100“.
- "LA DOLCE VITA. Das Wohn- und Geschäftshaus „Fellini Residences" in Mitte". Cube Magazin.
- "1 Hansequartier Anklam". Retrieved 2019-02-26.
- "Urban, The New Tenement". Retrieved 2019-02-26.
- "Neue Stadtbaukultur" (in Deutsch). Retrieved 2019-02-26.