David Marquardt started the Zurich based architectural and design agency MACH in 2000. Since then, MACH has worked on a wide range of multi-disciplinary projects; from offices and airlines to retail and residencies, with a client list that includes Swiss International Air Lines, IWC Schaffhausen, Victorinox, TOTO and more.
In 2018, MACH designed our shared retail and cafe space with Monocle in Zürich's Seefeld district, in addition to a bespoke shelving system that can now be found in our shops in London and Zürich.
As a long time friend of Trunk and Monocle, we caught up with David at Trunk Zürich on a crisp autumn day to ask him a few questions on how MACH got started, what good retail means, and what to see, do and eat in Zürich.
Can you tell us a little about your background and what you were doing before founding MACH?
After studying architecture at ETH Zürich I worked on various projects with André Putman, Hans Kollhoff and Hannes Wettstein before I joined Bally, where I managed the international export of Swiss design and quality.
How did MACH get started? Do you remember your first project?
MACH started with just a laptop and a table. Believe it or not, one of the first projects was to design all the interiors of Swiss International Air Lines ticket offices, lounges and airplane cabins. This was in collaboration with Winkreative.
Swiss International Air Lines ticket office and cabin interior by MACH and Winkreative.
MACH seems to cover many different fields, from retail and transport to office spaces and people's homes. Are the same principles applied when designing such varied spaces?
We approach all of our projects the same. Our focus is to create spaces for people and spaces that enhance their senses. We like natural materials, crafted details and tactile surfaces. Our design principle could therefore be defined as “naturally engineered”.
You recently celebrated MACH's 20th anniversary. What are the main changes you've seen in architecture and design since starting out?
The world is constantly changing, and architecture should permanently adjust to the changing needs. Digitalization helps us to be more productive and to focus more on our personal needs such as health, recreation, and a great work-life-balance. I guess the more digital the world becomes the more analogue we can afford to live – it’s all about balance.
Are clients becoming more environmentally conscious?
Now more than ever clients are searching for sustainable and local solutions. We create environmentally conscious spaces for our clients through the use of natural materials and timeless designs.
You worked with the Swiss luxury brand Bally for a number of years, as well as designing Trunk's shared space with Monocle in Zürich. What does good retail mean to you?
Good retail is an inspiring experience where I can widen my horizons in a well edited environment, being hosted by specialists who know their products and understand my taste.
Which architects and designers from the past do you admire the most?
I admire a lot of modernists, especially Richard Neutra. I admire the proportioning of space throughout all levels of details and a great integration of nature.
I admire Japanese architects like Tadao Ando or Kenzo Tange as well as some of the new generation.
Invisible House by Tadao Ando, Ponzano Veneto, Italy.
If we had 24 hours in Zurich, what should we do, see and eat?
Never been to Zurich? Go to the Corbusier Pavillion by the lake, have a drink at the Kronenhalle Bar by Trix & Robert Haussmann, and cross the river to eat at Lumière.
Already been to Zurich? Visit the new Kunsthaus by David Chipperfield, have a drink at Nude bar and eat at Osso at Langstrasse.