Basler & Hofmann provides financing for a new centre in the area of digital planning and construction at ETH Zurich

Basler & Hofmann, as strategic partner, is supporting the project to create a new centre at ETH Zurich with a generous six-year grant to the ETH Foundation. The Center for Augmented Computational Design in Architecture, Engineering and Construction, also known as Design++, was conceived to help the ETH Zurich strengthen its position at the international forefront of digital design, planning and construction.

A visualisation of a virtual collaboration environment for the ETH Immersive Design Lab. The lab is set to open in 2021, and provides the research infrastructure required for the new Design++ centre. © Gramazio Kohler Research, ETH Zurich

The grant from Basler & Hofmann will primarily be used for setting up the new faculty of Augmented Computational Design. At the signing of the grant agreement, Professor Joël Mesot, President of ETH Zurich, highlighted how important the experience and strategic foresight of Basler & Hofmann is for the development of the new centre.

A holistic view of digitization

The teaching and research assignment of the new centre is directly related to the activities and goals of Basler & Hofmann. The aim is to develop digital instruments and processes that improve design while also increasing productivity during the construction process, improving the quality of the buildings and reducing the impact on the environment. To this end, the idea is to use current knowledge in the areas of artificial intelligence with a focus on machine learning and augmented reality in architecture and civil engineering. The centre is designed to help make this a reality by connecting the worlds of architecture, civil engineering, construction and computer science. “We really welcome the efforts to break down the knowledge silos in different disciplines. We believe that the advantages provided by new digital technologies can only be exploited when we really focus on the broader picture. This requires interdisciplinary cooperation,” commented Dominik Courtin, Chairman of the Executive Board of Basler & Hofmann, on the centre’s vision.

The new centre is planned to open in early summer. In spring, the Immersive Design Lab will open as the central research infrastructure for Design++.


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