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Matthias Brunner


Studied Architecture at the ETH Zürich and the University of Strathclyde, Glasgow. Has worked for Galli Rudolf Architects, Zurich, where he was project leader for the Sonderschulheim Ilgenhalde, and for Hans Peter Wörndl, Vienna. Since 2010 he has been working on his PhD dissertation on Light and Richard J. Neutra within the scope of the project From Ravenna to Vals. Light and Darkness in Architecture from the Middle Ages to the Present, directed by Daniela Mondini at the Mendrisio Academy of Architecture.


The dissertation “Essential Sensations. Richard Neutra und das Licht” is the first comprehensive study about a crucial topic of Richard Neutra’s architecture and theory: light. It analyzes systematically all relevant sources, both archival and published. By this, it becomes the first treatise that elucidates Neutra’s theory not only based on his published writings, but also on his notebooks, excerpts and library. Furthermore, it is one of the rare studies that analyze the topic of light in all of its manifestations – daylight and artificial light, visible and invisible light, direct and reflected light. The most important finding is that Neutra used light in a highly sophisticated way, disproving the myth that modern architecture is necessarily drawn to absolute brightness.