Urban Detached Houses 
A comparative study of 24 Global Cities in 4 Continents 

University ETH Zurich – Department of Architecture
Course Architectural Design Studio 3rd/4th year
Dates 2005–07
Visting Lecturer Momoyo Kaijima (Atelier Bow Wow, Tokio) 
Assistants Medine Altiok, Lukas Huggenberger, Megumi Komura
Workshops Micropublic Interventions in Istanbul, Los Angeles, Tokio
Collaborations for Workshops BILGI Istanbul (Emre Arolat, Ihsan Bilgin), SCI-ARC Los Angeles (Jeffrey Inaba), TIT Tokio (Tsukamoto Lab)


            The city is composed of many individual houses. There are a variety of cities and therefore a variety of houses. On one hand, the typology of a building is determined by the lifestyle of the inhabitant and his individual needs and, on the other hand, by the urban context such as (building) culture, climate or building regulations. The private house expresses a very close relationship between the owner and the city. Research into private living conditions can reveal the essence of living and cultural identity in a city. The urban detached house is a key to the urban environment. 
            Each student receives a real client and a real site in one of six cities. In a close dialectic process, the student designs an urban detached house for his client. In the course of interviews, the student has to find out about the cultural context of the client (family constellation, lifestyle, program). In a second step, the planning regulation of the site has to be calibrated. Examples might be a previously existing house on the site or its vicinity. The students have to analyze the typology of the urban detached house in each city to learn more about the impact of society and culture on architecture. 
            Two aspects are superimposed during the design process: the individual needs of the client and the cultural, contextual conditions of the site. The studio discusses the space and possibility of individuality in urban housing in different cities, countries and cultures.The research should lead to intelligent, experimental houses with a certain degree of humor. The studio works on developing a catalogue of urban detached houses in cities around the world. All the projects are compared at the end of each semester to learn about the differences and potential in each city.