Place of contemplation

LocationAltdorf UR
ClientStiftung für einen Ort der Besinnung an der A2 in Uri
CommissionCompetition 1996, 2nd Prize
ArchitectsGraber & Steiger Architekten
ConsultantsFather Marin Graber, Baldegg monastery

The high-speed journey on the motorway between northern Europe and the South causes a changed perception of spatial and temporal dimensions: Stretches that structure the route can hardly be recognised, since one’s awareness of the landscape through which one travels is only fleeting, thereby largely dissolving one’s own relationship to the environment. This dynamic situation is countered by a «place of contemplation». A solid, layered envelope made of stone creates a peaceful retreat that is protected from weathering and the busy motorway. The interior, which is divided in a cruciform way, guides visitors step by step to a place of spiritual reflection: the entrance area that receives its visitors; the long, narrow room with a panorama window that directs one’s view towards nature; the dark, composed contemplation room that allows one to direct one’s thought inwards. Along the River Reuss, a soothing, meditative walkway includes text passages from different world religions, recalling the collective knowledge of the world community.

Place of contemplation

Graber & Steiger

Architekten ETH BSA SIA
Alpenstrasse 1
CH-6004 Luzern
+41 41 248 50 10

Graber & Steiger is an architectural practice based in Lucerne, Switzerland and was founded 1995 by Niklaus Graber and Christoph Steiger. Their work to date includes public and institutional buildings as well as private houses. Graber & Steiger are interested in an architecture that gives a specific and individual response to each task assigned and that at the same time regards personal and subjectiv statements. A strong focus of the team is the search for powerful architectonical structures which approach the task in a targeted way and encourage an autonomous spatial expression. By winning various competitions, Graber & Steiger could accomplish among others the School Complex in Buttikon, the Window Factory in Hagendorn, the Panorama Gallery Pilatus and the extension to the Thun Panorama for which they received several national and international awards.

Niklaus Graber

Architect ETH SIA BSA

*1968. Certified Architect ETH BSA SIA. 1988–95 Studies in Architecture at the ETH Zurich and at the GSAPP Columbia University New York. 1990/91/93 internships at office Herzog & de Meuron, Basel and office Hans Kollhoff, Berlin. 1995 architect at office Herzog & de Meuron. 1995 founding of Graber & Steiger Architekten in Lucerne. 2008–2011 teaching assignment at Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts. 2013–2015 lecturer in the Master of Arts in Architecture course at the Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts. Since 2016 visting faculty at Bengal Institute for Architecture, Landscapes and Settlement in Dhaka, Bangladesh. 2016/17 Curator of the exhibition “Bengal Stream – The Vibrant Architecture Scene of Bangaldesh” at S AM Swiss Architecture Museum Basel.

Christoph Steiger

Architect ETH SIA BSA

*1968. Certified Architect ETH BSA SIA. 1988–95 Studies in Architecture at the ETH Zurich. 1990/91 internships at office Hans Kollhoff, Berlin and office Herzog & de Meuron, Basel. 1995 architect at office Herzog & de Meuron. 1995 founding of Graber & Steiger Architekten in Lucerne. 2008–2011 teaching assignment at Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts. 2013–2015 lecturer in the Master of Arts in Architecture course at the Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts. 2016 visting faculty at Bengal Institute for Architecture, Landscapes and Settlement in Dhaka, Bangladesh.

Roland Stutz


*1968. MA Architect FH. 1983-1996 1983-1996 Training and work experience in Switzerland and abroad as a cabinet maker. 1996/97 internships at Bosshard & Luchsinger Architects. 1997-2001 Architectural studies and diploma at the ZHNW in Winterthur. 2001-2003 Architect at Actar Arquitectura in Barcelona. 2003 -2006 Architect with Graber & Steiger Architects. 2006-2007 Master course and diploma in urban design at ZHNW Winterthur. 2008-2010 Architect at Bosshard & Luchsinger Architects. Since 2010 project leader and since 2019 member of the executive board of Graber & Steiger Architekten.



Executive Board:
Niklaus Graber
Christoph Steiger
Roland Stutz

Dominik Annen
Rebekka Baumann
Leonie Burch
Sandro Erni
Niklaus Graber
Alex Hammer
Yannis Regamey
Mattias Rutishauser
Olaf Slowak
Claudia Spörri
Christoph Steiger
Roland Stutz
Sven Zbinden

Leonie Burch

Former Employees:
Lars Aebersold
Fadi Almasri
Abdulrahman Althan
Greta Andreoli
Katja Bächtold
Fulvio de Bastian
Sophie Bertin
Philipp Betschart
Jolien Bloem
Jaroslava Brhelova
Agnieszka Broda
Edna Buchmeier
Enric Carol
Farhana Nizam Chowdhury
Christian Dehli
Beatrix Diem
Marcela Dolezalová
Rebekka Eiholzer
Christian Estermann Jansen
Beatrice Evangelisti
Pablo Filit
Anthony Frank
Pascal Galler
Felix Geiselbrecht
Pero Georgiev
Ana Gonçalves
Rocio Garcia Gravino
Moritz Grimmer
Tobias Grüter
Florian Gugger
Annette Hammer
Daniel Hauri
Monika Hausammann
Aditi Haque
Christian Hediger
Sara Hensler
Morin Hoang
Yvonne Hoffmann
Fabian Huber
Patric Huber
Fabienne Hug
Lamisa Samantha Islam
Jovan Ivanovski
Catharina Kiesel
Philip Käslin
Patrizia Kulmitzer
Ivo Läuppi
Sofia Leurink
Flavio Lutz
Vinh Ly
James Mac Aree
Filipe Marques
Sascha Matt
Ursula Mehr
Sureya Miller
Patrick Mürner
Eliza Novak
Alicja Nowicz
Lea Nussbaumer
Karin Ohashi
René Pahl
Lucia Pennati
Nathalie Rast
Joe Redwood
Reto Robbi
Stefan Roos
Tamara Roos
Lucas Sager
Susana Santos
Astrid Sauerteig
Philipp Scheidegger
Daniel Scheuner
Sophie Schindler
Maria Schmid
Urs Schmid
Aisha Siddiqua
Fadri Sieber
André Signer
Tiziano Spadoni
Andrea Späti
Julia Spirig
Lucia Spörri
Josef Stadelmann
Katrin Stadelmann
Christian Suter
Sara Swida
Kim Templin
Mathias Thaler
Michelle Thurnhofer
Gianmarco Tolone
Bastien Turpin
Michael Ursprung
Sharon Van Uffelen
Lukas Vogel
Barbara Vogt
Hanspeter Vogt
Martin Waldis
Julia Weber
Werner Weibel
Karin von Wyl
Susanne Wolf
Julia Wollscheid
Doris Wyss
Janis Zemp
David Zimmermann
Alex Zollinger
David Zorenč
Anna Zweifel

Awards & Grands


1st Prize PRIXFORIX 2021 Award

Vertical Factory Komax AG

Recognition "Houses of the Year" 2021

Plant Manager's Home

Award «Best architects» 22

Vertical Factory Komax AG

Award «Best architects» 21

Cultural youth centre Schappe Süd

Award «Best architects» 21

Primary school Nottwil

Recognition 'Prix Lignum 2018' Award

School building Nottwil

Award «Best architects» 18

Residential building Mühle

Recognition 'Gute Baukultur 2005-2016' Award

Residential building 'Mühle' Sempach

Award «Best architects» 16

Extension for the Thun Panorama

Award «Auszeichnung guter Bauten im Kanton Zug 2006–2015»

AWZ housing

ISR Award for Architecture 2013
Special price of the jury

Pilatus Kulm panorama gallery

Award for Marketing and Architecture 2012
Overall winner

Pilatus Kulm panorama gallery

Award «Best architects» 12

Uri educative centre
Villa by Lake Zug

Ernst A. Plischke Preis, Vienna, Austria 2011

Window factory extension

Award «Best architects» 10

Villa by Lake Lucerne

Velux Daylight Award 2010

Window factory extension

Rosa Barba Award, Barcelona C, 2008

Window factory extension

Award «Best architects» 08

Window factory extension

German Landscape Architecture Award 2007
First Price

Window factory extension

Award «Die Besten», Silver trophy, 2006

Window factory extension

Award «SIA Umsicht | Regards | Sguardi» 2006

Window factory extension

Award «Auszeichnung guter Bauten 1994–1999 im Kanton Luzern» 2000

Stucki single-family home



«Schweizweit. Recent Swiss Architecture»
Swiss Architecture Museum S AM, Basel 2016/17

«Spacial Positions 10: The Sound of Architecture»
Festival Zeiträume Basel, Swiss Architecture Museum S AM, Basel 2015

«Panoramen – Bauten und Projekte von Graber & Steiger Architekten»
Kunstmuseum Thun, Thun Panorama, 2014

«Senza pericolo!»
Triennale di Milano, Mailand 2013

«Marketing + Architektur»
ETH Zurich, Institut GTA, Zurich 2013

Swiss Architecture Museum S AM, Basel 2013

«Pläne und Modelle von Graber & Steiger»
Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts 2010

Schweizer Beitrag zur 7. Bienal International de Arquitetura de Sao Paulo
Pavilhao Ciccillo Matarazzo Parque Ibirapuera, Sao Paulo 2007,
Swiss Architecture Museum S AM, Basel 2008,
Today Art Museum, Bejing 2009,
Shenzhen + Hong Kong Architecture Biennale, Hongkong 2010

«Spezifisch | specifique | specivico»,
Architekturforum Zürich 2007

«Umsicht SIA»
Swissbau Basel, ETH Zurich, FH Burgdorf, Architekturforum FAR Lausanne, HSR Rapperswil, SUPSI Lugano, CAUE Angers F, DAZ Berlin, 2006–2008

«Die Besten 06»
Museum für Gestaltung Zürich, 2006

«Gutachter-verfahren Kunsthaus Graz»
Architekturforum Zürich 1998


3rd International Conference on Structures and Architecture, Guimaraes, Portugal 2016
«On the authority of the load-bearing structure»

International Symposium Architecture now/next, Dhaka 2016
Panel discussion «Education now/next»

Bengal Institute, Dhaka, Bangladesch, 2016
«Reflections on Structure»

Technische Hochschule Köln
«Postitionen Schweizer Architektur» 2015

BRAC University Dhaka, Bangladesch, 2014
«Trended Structures»

KIT Karlsruhe, 2014
«Swiss Architects»

Architektur Forum Thun, 2013
«Panoramen – eine Rundschau»

ETH Zurich, Institut GTA, 2013
«Panoramagalerie Pilatus Kulm»

Mongolbarer Shobha, Dhaka, 2012

ETH Zurich, 2009
«Denkmodell Struktur»

Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts, 2009
«Tektonik und Struktur»

Rosa Barba Award, Barcelona, 2008
«Window factory Hagendorn»

Istituto la città complessa, Pordenone, Italy, «Recent Works», 2008
«Recent Works»

Deutsches Architektur-zentrum Berlin, 2008
«Fensterfabrik Hagendorn»

FHNW Basel, 2006
«Ein Haus von...»

Architekturforum Zurich, 2003
«Junge Schweizer Architekten»

ETH Zurich, 1997
«Haus Stucki»

Residential building Lucerne
1st prize in Geneva!
Exhibition in Dhaka/Bangladesh
Exhibition 'Typisch Luzern?'
Publication in TEC21magazine
Open position for an Architect
Exhibition 'BETON' S AM Basel
1st Prize PRIXFORIX 2021 Award
Award Houses of the Year
Award best architects 22
Twenty-Five Wor(l)ds
Completion Denkmalstrasse
Houses of the Year
Swiss Performance 2021
Preservation in South Asia
Completion "Paradies" Weggis
Publication "Vertical Factory"
bestarchitects 21 award
Plant manager’s residence
Vertical Factory
Topping-Out Denkmalstrasse
Paradise Residences
Residences in Winterthur
Workshop in Bangladesh
1st Price Rigi Competiton
Louis Kahn, Silence and Light
Exhibition 35 Years of S AM
Building permission
100 Experiments
Residential Landenberg
Topping-out ceremony Komax AG
Building permission
Bengal Stream in Bordeaux
Lecture in Skopje / Macedonia
Prix Lignum 2018
Award by STA Chicago
Exhibition Bengal Stream
The Designing Engineer
Inauguration of Primary School
bestarchitects 18 award
Award for good building
Wakker Prize awarded
Exhibition at the S AM Basel
Award canton of Zug
«Atuprix 2015» Award
ICSA 2016
Start of construction
Architectural visit: Köniz
Start of construction
Graber & Steiger in Bangladesh
«Spatial Positions 10»
School building in Nottwil
Graber & Steiger monograph


Hillside residential building in Lucerne completed.

What began as a study 10 years ago can now finally be experienced as built spaces in Lucerne's Bramberg neighbourhood.
The slender, sculpturally modelled apartment building, which has replaced a dilapidated smaller residential building, makes use of the narrow plot in a densified manner, in keeping with the signed of our times but without creating a spatial constriction in the green neighbourhood structure.
The staggered volume and the customised flats inscribed in it thematise urban living through a variation of different flat types and well-proportioned, well-lit rooms. Generous windows and loggias open up views to the porous neighbourhood pattern, across the city of Lucerne and into the surrounding countryside with its hills, mountains and lakes.
In reference to the historic brick buildings specific to the neighbourhood, which rise upwards on existing garden-like plots, the new building has a vertically structured brick façade that subtly regulates views. The tectonics of the façade creates a lively interplay of light and shadow and makes principals of construction playful visible. While the pillars built on site are constructed in a horizontal masonry bond, the prefabricated parapet elements have a vertical, linear brick cladding.

Graber & Steiger

13.06.24 Residential building Lucerne 25.03.24 1st prize in Geneva! 06.05.23 Exhibition in Dhaka/Bangladesh 16.03.23 Exhibition 'Typisch Luzern?' 29.04.22 Publication in TEC21magazine 12.01.22 Open position for an Architect 17.11.21 Exhibition 'BETON' S AM Basel                      Instagram                      Design: C2F.CH