VOLPATOHATZ is a team of architects and product designers working together on a broad platform of projects by producing cutting edge products and innovative sustainable buildings for an international client base.
The work of partners Marco Volpato from Australia and Nicole Hatz from Switzerland is at present defined by their experiences working on projects for some of the world’s most awarded architects. In the offices of Herzog & de Meuron and Michael Alder in Basel Switzerland and Antonio Citterio in Milan Italy, they individually carved a solid base of built projects across a diversity of commissions, from cultural to commercial to residential, all with the common thread of innovative, engaging designs for clients the Prada group warehouses in Tuscany, Sir Terence Conran’s Habitat in London and Paris, the New de Young Museum in San Francisco and the Schaulager Art Storage in Basel. With this experience, studio VOLPATOHATZ opened its doors in 2003 in Sydney Australia to oversee projects in Asia, in 2007 the head office opens in Lugano Switzerland to manage the European client base and with a further office in Birsfelden Basel Switzerland in 2012.
The fundamental aims of VOLPATOHATZ are based on design excellence, fresh ideas and quality of service, all wrapped up in the framework of strong client relationships, ongoing dialogue and collaboration. Quite simply, Marco Volpato and Nicole Hatz believes that good architecture will have a positive impact on each one of us, at home, in the office and within our cities.
The working process at VOLPATOHATZ is different too. The studio believes in expanding a client’s spatial imagination from the very start by taking a client through a new design process with models and renders, mock-ups and material samples throughout all phases of the project. We work on a solid theoretical approach and provide a complete design service from the building envelope to the interior including custom designed furniture, lighting, landscape and urban design. We like nothing more than taking on a diverse range of projects, clients and briefs that create new challenges and to push our capabilities even further.
VOLPATOHATZ incorporates sustainable design principals throughout the design process. Energy requirements such as Switzerland’s Minergie guidelines are enforced by government for public buildings, however many clients are now demanding that their homes be more sustainable in order to reduce long term running costs.
Several sustainable design principals have been implemented into our projects for example larger than required amount of solar panels, which at times can produce enough power to sell back to the grid or solar water tubes connected to floor heating system. Skylights or even highlight windows are often used to allow the winter sun to warm up your space and block out the hot summer sun. Deep overhangs to façades shed off the harsh sun whilst adjustable shutters can cut off the sun altogether. Triple glazing is used in conjunction with a fully insulated building skin to provide complete thermal control of the building envelope.
Courtyards can be effective to cross ventilate houses or apartment buildings, whilst vertical landscaped gardens can cool walls that are constantly exposed to the sun. Roof gardens have been introduced to maintain a constant building temperature but also reduce the flow of rainwater into the storm water systems; alternatively rainwater can flow directly into underground rainwater tanks used for gardens and water closets. All these principals can lessen the burden our increasingly costly infrastructure whilst providing clients with a cut to their power bill.
VOLPATOHATZ is also actively involved in designing bespoke furniture for internationally renowned companies such as Magis, Nube Italia and Borella Design all of which use state of the art machinery and software to produce high-end furniture for domestic and commercial use.
Marco Volpato and Nicole Hatz have lectured at the Universities of NSW and Sydney Australia, the Masters Course at the University of EPFL Lausanne Switzerland and for the past six years lecturing urban design and architecture at the University of Liechtenstein in Vaduz.
From it’s inception, VOLPATOHATZ have set out to create a diverse and global portfolio by cross-fertilizing our experience from Switzerland and Australia, by using innovative cutting edge design, new materials and technologies all with the common thread of sensible sustainable design that provides our clients the point of difference which sets us apart from others.