It all started with a table, a computer and a commission for Bally, the Swiss fashion company. David Marquardt founded MACH 20 years ago and was joined soon after by Jan Fischer. Much has changed since then but the values of the architectural firm have remained the same. The name MACH represents an attitude. The aim is not to produce architecture with one dominant view; it is to cultivate the right solution. Every project is tailored to fit the client’s precise needs.
The practice began to expand in 2008. Today it counts a team of 16 employees, including three associates: Monika Sandmayr, Tian Chiang and Stephanie Monney. The composition of the team is pivotal and reflects MACH’s open mindset, which in turn contributes significantly to the success of the office.
That first commission gave rise to new alliances, many of which arose thanks to the founders’ international connections. The collaborative work with Bally continues to this day and other renowned Swiss brands, such as SWISS International Air Lines and IWC Schaffhausen, have also become important clients along the way. MACH tackles numerous challenges, as demonstrated by the firm’s varied portfolio, which features projects from small to large, local to international and modest to luxurious. The practice covers all of the essential facets of architecture while placing a focus on people and their relationship to the built environment. MACH’s architects also take great pleasure in the process of design and the rounds of finessing that are needed to deliver a successful project.
The design process starts with a careful analysis of the specific context of each job. MACH relies on a four-step design process: Discover, Design, Develop and Do. Using these criteria, the team works with specialists to create spaces and buildings that are natural, emotional and timeless. A loving use of materials plays a decisive role in the designs, which are characterized by refined and handcrafted details. MACH calls this effect “design at second glance”; it reflects the firm’s high standards.
The move to new offices in early 2020 marked the beginning of a new chapter in MACH’s history. The company’s holistic approach now also encompasses consulting services to support the sustainable development of projects at all scales. Concept development is another mainstay of the office. All of the firm’s projects are based on an intensive exchange of ideas and information with its clients – because good architecture is always the result of a shared dialogue.