Hans Bernoulli

Hans Benno Bernoulli (1876 ā€“ 1959) was a Swiss architect with a particular interest in city planning. He was mainly active in the 1920s. In terms of buildings he designed and which were built, he is best known for ‘the Bernoulli houses’ built in Zurich up to 1929. This was an early ‘garden city’ project creating houses which were intended to be sold at cost to workers. He was involved in other housing projects in the 1920s in Grenchen, Basel and Munchenstein in Switzerland. After the Second World War he was mainly involved in rebuilding German cities detroyed by bombing.

He published an important architectural treatise on city planning and proposals for the future of housing developments, ‘Die Stadt und Ihr Boden’ (Towns and the Land) which influenced Chamberlin Powell and Bon. It contained plans showing the old Adelphi in London, which inspired Chamberlin Powell and Bon by its separation of pedestrians and traffic. Bernoulli also included plans showing his own ideas for segregating foot and vehicle traffic, and having traffic at different levels.

One of his suggested plans was included in the architects’ 1959 report to the City Corporation.

An illustration from Hans Bernoulli’s book ‘Towns and the Land’ showing a proposed layout with two superimposed road systems. “A” is for pedestrians only and it gives access to the entrances and ground floor rooms of the development. “B” is a road at a lower level for vehicular traffic. “C” is a subway for collecting and removing refuse. These two have access to the basements and courts of the building.

He also included in his book an illustration of the Adelphi in London. (The illustration with explanatory notes is shown on the right.) The Adelphi was built by the Adams Brothers. It was demolished in the 1930s but photographs and drawings survived. Its importance to Bernoulli was that it also segregated pedestrian from other traffic – in the Adelphi’s case, river traffic since the arches you will see on the illustration led into loading piers under the building.