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Swiss civil engineer and contractor known especially for his thin concrete shells.

Biographical Information

Name: Heinz Isler
Born on 26 July 1926 in , Zurich, Switzerland, Europe
Deceased on 20 June 2009 in , Berne, Switzerland, Europe
Student of

Graduates from the Federal Technological Institute (ETH) Zurich;
Becomes assistant to Professor Pierre Lardy


Opens his own office in Burgdorf


Sells concept of pneumatic shells


Conceives of a doubly-curved geometric shell for the Wyss Garden center


Builds first structures based on suspension method where the forms for shells are found by hanging and fixating cloth

Structures and Projects

Biography from Wikipedia

Heinz Isler (July 26, 1926 – June 20, 2009) was a Swiss structural engineer. He is famous for his thin concrete shells.

Early life and education

Heinz Isler was born in the municipality of Zollikon. He showed talent as an artist as a student, but his father advised him to seek a career in engineering first. Isler studied thin concrete shells at the Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) in Zurich.


Upon graduating from the ETH in 1950 with a degree in civil engineering, Isler worked as a teaching assistant with Pierre Lardy, a professor at the ETH, from 1951 to 1953. He opened his own office in 1954 in Burgdorf, Switzerland. His first project as a shellbuilder was a concert hall roof for the Hotel Kreuz in Langenthal which was completed between 1954 and 1955. The form of the shell was loosely inspired by the shape of a plumped-up pillow on his bed.


Isler died from a stroke on June 20, 2009 at the age of 82.

Text imported from Wikipedia article "Heinz Isler" and modified on 22 July 2019 under the CC-BY-SA 3.0 license.


  1. Isler, Heinz (1981): Effective use of concrete. Presented at: IABSE Symposium: The selection of structural form = Système et forme des structures = System und Form von Tragwerken, London, United Kingdom, 1981.


  2. Isler, Heinz (1980): Structural beauty of shells. Presented at: 11th IABSE Congress, Vienna, Austria, 31 August - 5 September 1980.


  3. Isler, Heinz: Shell Structures: Candela in America and What We Did in Europe. In: Nordenson, Guy (): Seven Structural Engineers. The Museum of Modern Art, New York (USA), ISBN 978-0-87070-703-2, pp. 86-101.
  4. Isler, Heinz (1979): New Shapes for Shells - Twenty Years After. In: Journal of the International Association for Shell and Spatial Structures, n. 71 (September 1979).
  5. Isler, Heinz (1994): Concrete Shells Derived from Experimental Shapes. In: Structural Engineering International, v. 4, n. 3 (August 1994), pp. 142-147.


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