Heinz Isler

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Concrete shell roof of the garden center Wyss in Zuchwil, (1962)
Concrete dome roof of a building of the former company Kilcher in Recherswil, (1965)
Highway service area Deitingen south, triangle concrete cupola roofs, (1968)

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[edit]

Heinz Isler was born in the municipality of Zollikon.[1] 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.[1]


Isler died from a stroke on June 20, 2009 at the age of 82.[1]


  • Isler, Heinz (1980). "Structural Beauty of Shells". IABSE congress report. ETH Zurich. 11: 147–152. doi:10.5169/seals-11239.
  • Isler, Heinz (1981). "Effective Use of Concrete". IABSE reports of the working commissions. ETH Zurich. 36: 189–191. doi:10.5169/seals-28279.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Chilton, John (24 August 2009). "Obituary: Engineer and shell builder noted for innovative design". The Guardian. Retrieved 12 February 2013.

External links[edit]