We are a studio for architecture and urban design and work passionately on a wide range of projects: From private conversions, to public infrastructure buildings, through to urban plans. Our core competence is the design, strategic development and implementation of sustainable and high-quality spaces. Together with multidisciplinary teams, we aim for the best spatial solutions that do justice to the diversity and complexity of our society, strengthen local qualities and enable new spatial experiences. Our practical work is closely linked to our teaching and research activities. Michael Wagner researches and teaches at various universities, gives lectures and publishes on architecture, urban design and planning. Recent competition successes include the new Recycling Center in Zug (1st prize), the Wache Nord in Zurich (3rd prize) or the Liechtenstein Contribution to the 2018 Architecture Biennale in Venice (2nd prize).

Wagner Vanzella Architects ETH/SIA
Am Schanzengraben 15
8002 Zurich
+41 44 533 18 86
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Michael Wagner, founding partner
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Studies of architecture and diploma with Prof. Peter Märkli at the ETH Zurich. National and international work experience with MVRDV, Gigon/Guyer and Baumann Roserens Architects. Self-employed architect and urban designer since 2010. Currently teaching and researching at the chair of Prof. Kees Christiaanse as senior assistant, head of the research group Kulturlandschaft and lecturer at the ETH Zurich and the University of Liechtenstein. National research projects and publications. Further teaching activities at the University of Zurich and the Lucerne University of Applied Sciences. 2014 Visiting Professorship 'Agenda Lehre' at the Technical University of Munich. 2017/18 Guest Lecturer for Urban Design at the University of Liechtenstein.

Raphael Vanzella, founding partner
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Im Anschluss an das Architekturstudium an der ETH Zürich arbeitete Raphael Vanzella während vier Jahren bei Graber Pulver Architekten AG in Bern als Projektarchitekt und stellvertretender Projektleiter. 2010 begann er mit der selbständigen Bearbeitung von Projekten und unterstützte nebenbei bis 2012 Ilg Santer Architekten in Zürich. Er ist vor allem für die Umbauprojekte von Wagner Vanzella Architekten verantwortlich und leitet das Büro in Zürich.

Milo Strub, staff member

Studied architecture at ETH Zurich (BSc), internships with blue architects in Zurich and with noAarchitecten (Philippe Viérin, An Fonteyne, Jitse van den Berg) in Brussels. Student assistant at the Chair of Architecture and Urban Design of Prof. Kees Christiaanse at ETH Zurich.

Serena Keller, Praktikantin

Studies architecture at the University of Liechtenstein (cand. BSc), Student assistant at the Institute of Architecture and Spatial Development.

Former staff members
Sophia Disiou, Lino Saam, Dominik Thurnherr, Kristina Turtschi

We are regularly looking for motivated interns. Requirements: at least four semesters of study experience and knowledge of common digital tools (Vectorworks, CreativeSuite, Cinema 4D, etc.). If you are interested, please send us your portfolio including a letter of motivation by email: mail@wagnervanzella.ch

Teaching and Research

In addition to his practice, Michael Wagner is also active in research and teaching: Since 2018 he is holding the lecture series 'Urban Design - Design and strategy in urban space' at the ETH Zurich. From 2010 to 2018 he was a lecturer and research assistant at the chair of Professor Kees Christiaanse and from 2012 to 2018 he has been head of the 'Kulturlandschaft' Research Unit at the ETH Zurich. Since 2013, as an external lecturer, he has also been holding the seminars 'Regenerative Environments' and 'Settlement and Territory' in the Master's programme of the University of Liechtenstein. In 2014 he held a guest professorship Agenda Lehre at the TU Munich. Between 2007 and 2009 he and Rahel Laemmler studied the work of the East German concrete shell builder Ulrich Muether.

Project- and Worklist


Construction project (currently in progress)
Apartment Building Klosterstrasse, apartment building with six units and three terraced houses, Griessen / Klettgau (D), client: private, surface area approx. 1'300 sqm.

Urban planning (currently in progress)
Vision and strategy for the spatial development of the Mini.Stadt Lichtensteig. urban planning concept, Lichtensteig (SG), in cooperation with Strittmatter Partner, KCAP and Zeugin Gölker Immobilienstrategien, direct commission 2018 - 2019, client: municipality of Lichtensteig.

Conversion (currently in progress)
Housing Cooperative Zielacker, adaptation of staircases (including installation of elevators) and renovation of kitchens and bathrooms in three apartment buildings, Frauenfeld (TG), in cooperation with Hasler Schlatter Partner, client: Housing Cooperative Zielacker, Frauenfeld.

Renovation (currently in progress)
Rudolf Steiner School, Winterthur (ZH), renovation of the building shell of two school buildings, client Real Estate Foundation Immo RRS, Zurich.


Competition entry (2nd place)
Agor·a·bundance, contribution of the Principality of Liechtenstein to the 16th Architecture Biennale 2018 in Venice, Vaduz (LI) / Venice (I), organizing body University of Liechtenstein.

Competition entry
Winkelried Square, Basel (BS), Redesign of an existing square with fountain and buvette, in cooperation with Heinrich landscape architecture, organizing body Building and traffic department, Canton of Basel-City.

Feasibility study and preliminary project
Apartment Building Klosterstrasse, apartment building with six units and three terraced houses, Griessen / Klettgau (D), private client, surface area approx. 1'300 sqm.

Competition entry
Ambulance garage and city archive, Biel (BE), in cooperation with Fürst Laffranchi Engineers, organizing body Building construction division, Department for building energy and environment, City of Biel, surface area approx. 4'500 sqm.

Competition entry (5th place)
Redesign and revitalization of village center, Municipality of Au (SG), in cooperation with Heinrich landscape architecture, organizing body Municipality of Au.

Competition entry (3rd place)
Wache Nord, fire brigade station with ambulance garage, repair shop and logistics center, Zurich Oerlikon (ZH), in cooperation with Ressegatti Thalmann Architects, Fürst Laffranchi Engineers (structural engineering), GMS Partner AG (project and construction management), Klaus Zweibrücken (traffic planning), Studio Durable (sustainability concept), organizing body Public works office, City of Zurich.


Competition entry (3rd round)
New office building complementing the cantonal government district in Frauenfeld (TG), in cooperation with Heinrich landscape architecture, organizing body Building department of the Canton Thurgau, representing the state of Thurgau, surface area approx. 4'000 sqm.

Competition entry (7th place)
Redesign of Bahnhofstrasse and Theater Square, Lucerne (LU), in cooperation with Heinrich landscape architecture, organizing body City of Lucerne.

Competition entry
Maintenance Depot, Bülach (ZH), in cooperation with Ressegatti Thalmann Architects and Mario Rinke (structural engineering) organizing body Building department, Canton of Zurich, surface area approx. 36'350 sqm, thereof approx. 4'600 sqm usable building space.

Realization of event furnishing
Manifesta 11 - Parallel Event: Donate to curate, Zurich (ZH), client Slow and Spicy Curatorial Practice, Zurich University of the Arts.

Potential analysis
St. Matthew parish, Zurich (ZH), client Zurich Council of the Reformed Evangelical Church.


Competition entry (3rd place)
Maintainance Depot, Sissach (BL), in cooperation with Ressegatti Thalmann Architects, organizing body Department for building and environment, Canton Basel-Country, surface area approx. 14'000 sqm, thereof 3'250 sqm usable building space.

Conversion and renovation
Semi-detached single-family house, Schönenberg (ZH), private client, surface area approx. 200 sqm.

State and potential analyses
For various properties of the Reformed Evangelical Parish Zurich-Industry, Zurich (ZH), client Reformed Evangelical Parish Zurich-Industry.

Competition entry (final round)
Expo 2027 – concept competition for Swiss national exhibition 2027 in eastern Switzerland, in cooperation with Salewski & Kretz Architects, CR Communication, Cathy van Eck, Zeugin Gölker Real Estate Strategies, organizing body cantonal governments of Appenzell Outer Rhodes, St. Gallen and Thurgau.


Competition entry
Fishery Center Lake of Constance, Steinach (SG), in cooperation with Heinrich landscape architecture, organizing body Building department, Canton St. Gallen, surface area approx. 1'000 sqm.

Conversion and renovation
Apartment Building Walkestrasse, Winterthur (ZH), private client, surface area approx. 240 sqm.


Competition entry
Complementary hospital building Barmelweid Ost (AG), in cooperation with Al-Wakeel & Grab Architects and James Melsom (landscape architecture), organizing body Klinik Barmelweid AG, surface area 17'000 sqm.

Competition entry (2nd place)
Fire brigade and police station, Wil (SG), in cooperation with Marcella Ressegatti, organizing body security alliance of the Wil region and cantonal police St. Gallen, surface area 8'000 sqm.

Conversion and renovation
Terraced House Kirchweg, Winterthur (ZH), private client, surface area 130 sqm.

until 2013

Conversion and renovation
Semi-detached single-family house, Winterthur Töss (ZH), private client, surface area approx. 200 sqm.

Test planning
Schwamendingen Triangle, Zurich Schwamendingen (ZH), development and design of a masterplan for a cooperative neighbourhood of 720 apartments, planning lead by Michael Wagner, in cooperation with blue architects (General lead), Ruprecht Architects (Urban Design), Inura Institut (Sociology), Anton Ghiggi (Landscape architecture) and Prof. Mark Michaeli (Community planning), commissioned by Cooperative Glatttal, surface area approx. 96'000 sqm, floor space area approx. 130'000 sqm.

Feasibility study and preliminary project design
Apartment Buildings Waldgarten, Zurich Schwamendingen (ZH), design of three apartment buildings with a total of 10 apartments, design phase 2012 – 2013, private client, surface area approx. 1'600 sqm.

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