In 1964, Le Corbusier wrote in a letter to Carlo Ottolenghi, the Director of the Venice Hospital: “Un hôpital est une maison dʼhomme”. A hospital is a house for man. This was his basic conviction and the belief that determined his hospital project for Venice.
This same conviction is the reason Silvia Gmür and Reto Gmür, architects based in Basel, have been engaged in healthcare architecture for many years, striving for the creation of ‘humane’ hospitals through the combination of both theoretical research and a practical experience of building.
Their philosophy is that a good hospital should have the qualities of a good city (spatial organization and circulation) of good public spaces (communal areas) and of good housing (nursing areas). In the end it is this combination of institution and humanity that nurtures well-being, a positive atmosphere, a sense of community, trust, protection and intimacy, which finally translates into an architecture of light and space, order, measure and rhythm.
Silvia Gmür born 1939 in Zurich, Switzerland, studied architecture from 1959 to 1963 at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich. Her professional career led her from Zurich, to Paris, to London and from 1966 to 1970 to New York City, where she worked together with the architects Mitchell-Giurgola. In 1972 she opened her own firm in Basel, Switzerland. From 1995 to 2001 she collaborated with Livio Vacchini in Basel and Locarno. Since 2003 she has been in collaboration with her son Reto Gmür and in partnership since 2005.