Urban development Sempach wins Wakker Prize 2017

New houses next to old in the centre of Sempach

New houses next to old in the centre of Sempach


The small Swiss municipality of Sempach has been awarded the Wakker Prize for architectural development and preservation. It was praised for its careful development of the town centre and its promotion of a “culture of construction”.

The Swiss Heritage Societyexternal link awards the prize every year to a town or village in recognition of successful urban planning developments. Last year’s recipient was Rheinfelden in canton Aargau.

Sempach, which has around 4,100 inhabitants, was not prepared to settle for standardised building regulations which would simply prevent bad construction, according to the heritage society. Instead, it demanded tailor-made urban and architectural solutions.

It said the key to the municipality’s success was architecture competitions and other planning processes that allowed various ideas to be discussed and compared.

Sempach is the second municipality from canton Lucerne to win the Wakker Prize. In 2003, Sursee was chosen for its combination of tradition and innovative town planning.

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swissinfo.ch and agencies/ts