Regarding Space and Spaces

The Chambered Floor Plans and Luca Selva Architects

The chambered floorplan: a simple principle, frequently applied by Luca Selva Architects, offering greater latitude than corridor-based designs


Title Information

Edited by Tilo Richter and Christoph Wieser. With texts by Luca Selva and Christoph Wieser and a conversation with Luca Selva by Patrick Gmür

1st edition

, 2021

Text in English and German


128 pages, 62 b/w photos, plans, and drawings

20 x 24 cm

ISBN 978-3-03860-208-8


The architectural structuring principle of the chambered floor plan is as simple as it is economical, yet it allows for spatial and combinatorial freedom that can be interpreted in ever-new, ever-different ways. The resulting self-contained units or spatial sequences are suited for residential purposes as much as for office buildings, museums or schools, with the floor plans providing highly dynamic and surprising traffic patterns and views.

The chambered (or cellular compartment) floor plan is the generating principle in many buildings, projects, and competition entries by Basel-based office Luca Selva Architects, who have been continually developing this typology in their many years of practice, modifying it and adapting it for new applications in different projects. It is therefore at the center of this new book on the work of the prolific office. The numerous plans and photographs are supplemented by a theoretical essay by Christoph Wieser and a text by Luca Selva, and a conversation between the architect and Patrick Gmür. The book for the first time sheds light on this surprisingly sparsely researched topic, and thus its wider significance for the discourse reaches beyond the exemplary designs by Luca Selva Architects.


Tilo Richter is a Basel-based scholar of art and architectural history and a freelance publicist. He is also co-director of Standpunkte publishers, a member of the board of Basel’s Stiftung Architektur Dialoge, and editor of the annual Basler Stadtbuchs.


Christoph Wieser is an architect, publicist, and researcher. He also holds teaching appointments at various Swiss universities of applied sciences. 2003–09 he has been an editor with architectural magazine werk, bauen + wohnen, 2009–2013 he directed the Institute of Constructive Design at Zurich University of Applied Sciences ZHAW in Winterthur.

Authors & Editors
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Residential building in Bachletten Quarter near Pauluskirche, Basel, Georg Stamm, 1930–1932; re-modeling: 2014–2015. © Adriano Biondo

Town center development, Hübeli Works Site, Aesch, invited study commission, Civic Community Aesch, Canton Basel-Landschaft, 2010. © Luca Selva Architekten

Erlenmatt Primary Schoolhouse, Basel, open project competition, Canton Basel-Stadt: 2012; completion: 2017. © Roman Weyeneth

Erlenmatt Primary Schoolhouse, Basel, open project competition, Canton Basel-Stadt: 2012; completion: 2017. © Luca Selva Architekten

Gishalde-Steinbille development district, Oberstadt, Aarburg, invited study commission, Artemis Immobilien AG: 2014; completion: 2017. © Yohan Zerdoun

Glyptothek in Munich by Leo von Klenze, 1830. © Architekturmuseum der TU München


All images printed must come with respective picture credit and may only be published in connection with a book review containing the publishing house, the title of the book and names of editors or authors.


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