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

Chair, Core Professional Program

Dr.-Ing. / Ph.D., Technische Universit├Ąt Berlin, Berlin-Germany


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

A trained architect and architecture historian, 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 serves as the chair of the Core Professional 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 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 in America, Europe, and Asia.

Breitschmid’s scholarship focuses on the aesthetic mentality of modernism and post-modernity, in particular its promulgations in architecture and philosophical aesthetics. He has authored and edited several books on such subjects as Friedrich Nietzsche, Valerio Olgiati, Bruno Taut, Contemporary Swiss Architecture, Tectonics in Architecture, and Theories of Interpretation. Among other journals, his essays have been published in El Croquis, Casabella, A+U, and the Internationale Zeitschrift zur Theorie der Architektur. Breitschmid’s work has been awarded with grants and scholarships, among them from the Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies of the Fine Arts.

Books Authored: Christ & Gantenbein. Around the Corner (Hatje & Cantz Publishers, 2012; in German and English, co-authored with Victoria Easton), The Significance of the Idea in the Architecture of Valerio Olgiati (Niggli Publishers, 2008; in German and English), Three Architects in Switzerland - Beat Consoni - Morger & Degelo - Valerio Olgiati (Quart Publishers, 2007; in English), Nietzsche’s Denkraum (Edition Didacta, 2006; in English), Can architectural art-form be designed out of construction? (Architecture Edition, 2004; in English), Der bauende Geist. Friedrich Nietzsche und die Architektur (Quart Publishers, 2001; in German)

Books Edited: Olgiati (Birkhäuser Publishers, 2011; in English, German, French, Italian, Spanish, and Japanese; text co-edited with Leina Gonzalez), Thoughts on Building (Corporis Publishers, 2008; in English), Valerio Olgiati - Conversation with Students (Virginia Tech Architecture Publications, 2007; in English), Julius Meier-Graefe. A Modern Milieu (Virginia Tech Architecture Publications, Arts & Architecture Texts Series, 2007; in English)

Selected Book Chapters and Articles: One Question for the Architect Who Does Not Believe in Anything (A+U, 2012; in English and Japanese), The Architect as Molder of the Sensibilities of the General Public - Bruno Taut’s Architekturprogramm (Lexington of Rowman & Littlefield Publishing, 2011; in English), Valerio Olgiati - El Inventario Conceptual (El Croquis, 2011; in Spanish and English), Un’architettura che, in fondo, e “solo” astratta (Casabella, 2008; in Italian and English), Between Object and Culture. On the Interpretation of Architecture (Internationale Zeitschrift zur Theorie der Architektur, 2008; in English with German and Russian Abstracts).