Architecture of Territory

ETH D-ARCH Professorship of
Architecture and Territorial Planning
Milica Topalovic

Architecture of Territory investigates phenomena and processes of urban transformation of contemporary territories. This approach comprises a shift of interest from cities to broader territorial frames, and to what was once considered the non-urban realm or the city’s “constitutive outside”: the city’s hinterlands, “rural” countrysides and “nature”, including alpine zones, jungles, deserts and oceans.

At present even remote spaces and landscapes are pulled into the vortex of urbanisation; the urban condition is omnipresent. Throughout the 20th century, this expanded field of urbanisation has continued to challenge the disciplines of architecture and urbanism to rescale and expand their concepts, methods and approaches beyond urban centres and concentrated urban agglomerations. What could be architect’s roles in understanding, describing, and designing contemporary urban territories?

The projects of Architecture of Territory are based on the continuity between research and design, where both of these modes of intellectual production are overlapping and reinforcing one another. The design research studios, travel expeditions and site exploration, are always at the base of larger project trajectories.

From 2011 to 2015, Architecture of Territory was based in Singapore, at the ETH Future Cities Laboratory. During this period we conducted research and projects under the theme Hinterland, focusing on the multiple territorial imprints of cities, and using the island-state of Singapore as the paradigmatic research case.

In the summer of 2015, Architecture of Territory moved back to Zurich from Singapore and started a new research trajectory on European countrysides.





Bi-City Biennale of Architecture/Urbanism, Shenzhen 12/2015–03/2016
joint exhibit with Neil Brenner, Urban Theory Lab, Harvard GSD and Christian Schmid, Chair of Urban Sociology, ETH Zürich

Future Cities Laboratory, URA Gallery Singapore, 01–03/2015

CONSTRUCTED LAND—Singapore 1924-2012
International Architecture Biennale Rotterdam 2014: Urban by Nature, 05–08/2014


ARCHITECTURE OF TERRITORY—Beyond the Limits of the City
Edited transcript of Architecture of Territory, the inaugural lecture delivered by Milica Topalovic on November 30, 2015 at the ETH Zurich

SEA REGION—Singapore, Johor, Riau Archipelago
Studio report, Architecture of Territory, 2015

CONSTRUCTED LAND—Singapore 1924-2012
Eds. Uta Hassler and Milica Topalovic, ETH Zurich D-ARCH and FCL, Singapore, 2014

HINTERLAND—Singapore, Johor, Riau Archipelago
Studio report, Architecture of Territory, 2013