At home walking
Vogt’s departure from ETH Zurich was atypical: instead of a farewell lecture, he invited people to take a walk from the Polyterrasse in Zurich along the River Limmat to Fahr Abbey. From the city out into the country, past beautiful places like the Josefwiese city park, but also less inviting places like a motorway bridge. For Vogt, both belong to what he calls the urban landscape.
Such walks have a special meaning for him: “Going for a walk is a chance to collect images that I can draw on when designing.” The process of walking is what creates Vogt’s inner archive. And this goes back to his childhood.
Botanical backpack porter
At a young age, Vogt developed a fascination with plants of all kinds. As a nine-year-old, he was allowed to accompany the experienced botanist Heinrich Seitter on countless forays through the countryside. “I carried his backpack for him, and soaked up everything he said about plants.”
Vogt started horticultural school in Oeschberg in the canton of Bern at the age of 16; by then he could already draw on considerable botanical knowledge, which he steadily expanded in the years that followed. His inner archive grew and grew.
Kienast and Vogt
Vogt then went on to study landscape architecture at the then Intercantonal Technical College in Rapperswil, where he found a mentor and companion in Professor Dieter Kienast. In 1995, the two set up a joint office. “In the beginning, we didn’t have much to do, so we had a lot of time to talk about landscape architecture in depth,” Vogt recalls.
For the young landscape architect, this dialogue with the older and more experienced Kienast was formative. He would never work so intensively with another person again.