On Common Ground

On Common Ground

Schlieren – Upper Engadine. Photographs of Spatial Development in Suburban Regions and in the Alps Since 1945

On Common Ground presents a visual history of spatial development in postwar Switzerland through 250 images.



Title Information

Ulrich Görlich and Meret Wandeler. With essays by René Hornung, Werner Huber, Christian Schmid, and Meret Wandeler

1st edition

, 2012

Text English and German


176 pages, 166 color and 74 b/w illustrations

24 x 32.5 cm

ISBN 978-3-85881-347-3


On Common Ground presents a history of spatial development in postwar Switzerland through 250 images. The authors draw on a vast collection of photographs found in archives of all sorts: local government offices, building companies, local and national newspapers, publishers of postcards, cultural heritage societies, and amateur photographers. This carefully assembled volume looks specifically at the town of Schlieren, today a suburb of Zurich, and Upper Engadine, the world-famous mountain resort around St. Moritz in the Canton of Grisons.

Tracing the rise of the suburb, On Common Ground arranges images of each location in more or less chronological sequence—the top of each page shows Schlieren, while Upper Engadine is shown on the bottom, allowing for an easy visual comparison between the two regions. This unique study offers a novel way to understand the urban transformation of Switzerland since World War II, and by extension the modern rise of suburbs in central Europe. Essays contextualize the photographs within Swiss history and socioeconomic developments during the second half of the twentieth century.

Authors & Editors

Ulrich Görlich

 is an artist working with photography and head of the Master Fine Arts program at Zurich University of the arts ZHdK.

René Hornung

Werner Huber

Christian Schmid

 born 1958, studied geography and sociology at the University of Zurich. In 2003, he received his Ph.D. from the Friedrich Schiller University in Jena. In 2009, Christian Schmid became Titular Professor at the ETH Zurich.

Meret Wandeler