Stern Zürn Architects, established in 2015, is led by Markus Stern and Marco Zürn. Since its inception, the office has successfully executed several projects including small family houses as well as public projects. In 2021, we proudly completed the new sports faculty of the University of Basel, the Department of Sports, Movement, and Health, a project that has garnered immense satisfaction from students, professors, and visitors alike. Notably, our inaugural collaborative venture, Restaurant Peng Dumplings in Basel, received a special mention and was featured in "Die Schönsten Bars & Restaurants 2022” (Most Beautiful Bars and Restaurants 2022).


Our office's approach remains consistent whether we are designing small-scale furniture or large-scale projects. It begins with a meticulous context analysis, followed by the precise implementation of our client's needs and program requirements. We integrate ecological, social, and economic considerations, resulting in a design outcome that is not only thoughtful but also consequential. Our objective is not to impose a self-referential, universal architectural language but rather to derive our designs from the specific site context (Ort/Location).


This meticulous design process yields a diverse array of forms, materials, and design expressions tailored to meet the unique demands of each client and function. Collaboration is at the heart of our creative process, where we actively engage with fellow architects, landscape designers, and engineers to enrich our projects.


For the past few years, our office has been situated in the heart of Basel at UM // Unternehmen Mitte, located in the renowned Dreiländereck where Switzerland, France, and Germany converge. We welcome you to visit us and indulge in a delightful coffee while discussing your plans. We look forward to the opportunity to collaborate and bring your architectural visions to life.



Currently we are teaching architectural sciences at the DHBW Lörrach on the Vitra Campus in Germany with the focus on transformation of materials such as concrete, natural stone, brick. The main focus will be on housing units built with loam walls made of industrial produced loam bricks. The students will focus on testing their loam ideas in scale 1:1 as part of a design build process.


Teaching and professional practice

Our pilot project for the "Lehmhaus" in Meissen will serve as the prototype which will be continued and varied by the student projects. The house demonstrates how a significant saving of energy during the building process is possible by using bricks which are not fired in the kiln. Inner and outer load bearing walls are built of loam bricks. The design expression and floor layout needs are adapted to the innovative building technology creating a new architectural language. Houses like the Haus am Horn in Weimar or the Stahlhaus in Dessau Törten have been taken as a paradigm and are reinterpreted.



Markus Stern

2018 Stern Zürn Architects GmbH

2015 Founding Markus Stern Architects GmbH

2013–2015 Architect / Project Manager Hochbau Gemeindeverwaltung Allschwil 

2008–2013 Architect Herzog & de Meuron, Basel

2007–2008 Internship Herzog & de Meuron, Hamburg

2004–2007 Architect Büro für Form und Ereignis, Hamburg

2002–2009 Study of architecture (Dipl.-Ing.) HafenCity University (HCU), Hamburg

Marco Zürn

2023- Teaching position in architectural sciences, DHBW Lörrach, Vitra Campus, Germany

2018- Stern Zürn Architects GmbH

2006–2018 Senior Architect Herzog & de Meuron, Basel, Hamburg, Colmar, Jerusalem

2004-2005 Architect Bottega & Ehrhardt Architekten, Stuttgart

2002–2004 Architect MBA/S, Stuttgart, office manager Berlin

2002 Max Taut Prize for diploma thesis, University of the arts, Berlin (UdK)

2001 Internship SANAA Sejima Nishizawa Architects, Tokyo

1998 Internship OMA Rem Koolhaas, Rotterdam

1996–2002 Study of architecture (Dipl.-Ing.) University of the arts, Berlin




Stern Zürn Architekten @ Unternehmen Mitte (external link)



Member of Swiss Loam Society - IG Lehm - (external link)



Stern Zürn Architekten @ DHBW Lörrach: We are Dual Partner of the Baden-Wuerttemberg Cooperative State University (DHBW), which is the first higher education institution in Germany which combines on-the-job training and academic studies, achieving a close integration of theory and practice. Students, who want to spend their practical period as part of the architecture study in our office, have to wait until the application period of 2025/26, currently no open positions available.







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Portrait Photo by Joel Cartier