Construction materials, resources


Current exhibition

Wood joints – Expression of tectonic culture

10 May - 21 June 2019

Wood joints reflect the different building cultures in timber construction. They are shaped by climate and material, but also by aesthetic values. While the traditional timber construction of Central and Southern Europe is dominated by half-timbered buildings, in Scandinavia block constructions from horizontal trunks are characteristic. In China and Japan, a skeleton construction method was established that gets away without stiffening walls and withstands typhoons and earthquakes particularly well.

Read more (external link)

The Material Collection conveys historical and current knowledge on materials. On the one hand, this is achieved via the physical collection, where the exhibits become a haptic experience. On the other hand, a digital database renders information on material generally accessible. 

The Material Collection launched in 2010 is a joint venture between ETH Library's Architecture and Civil Engineering Library and the Architecture Department. It is integrated in the Netzwerk Material-Archiv (external link), which includes eight additional collection locations.

Target groups

  • Students and teachers
  • Specialists from the fields of architecture, civil engineering and materials science
  • People and institutions interested in building and other materials


  • The ETH Zurich collection comprises over 1,000 exhibits and is constantly expanded
  • A selection of basic historical material, a cross-section of current building materials and cutting-edge technical innovations
  • Current focuses include building materials such as natural stone, clay and limestone, their various applications and non-industrial and industrial manufacturing techniques
  • Additional objects from the fields of wood, wood-based materials, manmade stone, ceramics, synthetics, metals, glass, and animal and vegetable materials

Online archiv

An extensive, material-specific, online database (external link) provides information on the origin, processing or production, technical properties and cultural and scientific backgrounds of materials. Increased attention is devoted to topics such as the sustainable use of raw materials and their recyclability.

The database is compiled and developed in conjunction with the Netzwerk Material-Archiv.

Project partner

Subnavigation and related Informations

Related Informations Construction materials, resources

Address, contact, opening hours

Architecture and Civil Engineering Library
Stefano-Franscini-Platz 5
8093 Zurich
Site map (external link)

Mon–Fri 8.00–21.00
Special opening hours

+41 44 633 29 06
 +41 44 633 10 75 (Fax)

Dipl. Ing. Markus Joachim

Markus Joachim

+41 44 633 28 28 (external link)