Markus Breitschmid, Ph.D., S.I.A.


Dr.-Ing. / Ph.D., Technische Universität Berlin, Berlin-Germany

Dr.-Ing. / Ph.D., Technische Universität Berlin, Berlin-Germany

Markus Breitschmid is an internationally active architectural theoretician, historian, and author on architecture.

A trained architect and architecture historian, Dr. Breitschmid received his education in Switzerland, the United States and Germany. He is a registered architect (Level E.T.H. – No.1/15593) and a member of the Swiss Institute of Architects and Engineers (No. 135605). He received his Philosophiae Doctor (Ph.D.) in Engineering Science from the Technische Universität Berlin.

Breitschmid has been teaching at Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University (Virginia Tech) since 2004. He currently is a professor at the Washington-Alexandria Architecture Center, a consortium of international schools of architecture and part of Virginia Tech’s National Capital Region Campus. He is a former chair of the Bachelor of Architecture program. Prior to joining Virginia Tech, Breitschmid was the “2003 Visiting Historian for Architecture and Urbanism” at Cornell University. He held a tenure-track assistant professor position at the University of North Carolina from 1998 to 2002. Breitschmid has held additional positions as assistant professor, instructor, and visiting scholar at several European and American universities since 1994. He has been a visiting lecturer and visiting critic at many universities, museums, and professional associations in America, Europe, and Asia. He serves on accreditation teams of the National Architectural Accreditation Board (NAAB) since 2012. Breitschmid is also faculty member of the material culture & public humanities graduate program of the Department of Religion & Culture. He is stewarding Virginia Tech Architecture Publications.

Breitschmid’s scholarship focuses on the aesthetic mentality of modernism and postmodernity, in particular its promulgations in architecture and philosophical aesthetics. He has authored several books on subject such as Friedrich Nietzsche, Valerio Olgiati, Contemporary Swiss Architecture, Tectonics in Architecture, and Bruno Taut. Among other journals, his essays have been published in A+U, Casabella, Domus, El Croquis, and Werk, Bauen + Wohnen. Breitschmid’s work has been awarded with grants and scholarships, among them from the Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies of the Fine Arts.

Selected books and other publications include: “Architektur leitet sich von Architektur ab” (in: Werk, Bauen + Wohnen, 2014); “One Question for the Architect Who Does Not believe in Anything” (in: A+U, 2012); Christ & Gantenbein. Around the Corner (Hatje & Cantz Publishers, 2012; co-authored with Victoria Easton), Olgiati (Birkhäuser Publishers 2011; text co-edited with Leina Gonzalez); “The Architect as Molder of the Sensibilities of the General Public – Bruno Taut’s Architekturprogramm” (in: The Art of Social Critique, 2011); “Valerio Olgiati – El Inventario Conceptual” (in: El Croquis, 2011); “Un’architettura che, in fondo, e “solo” astratta” (in: Casabella, 2008); The Significance of the Idea / Die Bedeutung der Idee (Niggli Publishers, 1st 2008; 2nd 2009), “Between Object and Culture” (in: Internationale Zeitschrift zur Theorie der Architektur, 2008); Three Architects in Switzerland (Quart Publishers, 2007); Nietzsche’s Denkraum (Edition Didacta, 2006); Can architectural art-form be designed out of construction? (Architecture Edition, 2004); Der bauende Geist. Friedrich Nietzsche und die Architektur (Quart Publishers, 2001).