In 1890 the Zurich patron and scientist Gustav Adolf Tobler had a chalet built as a summer residence for his family. The chalet, which is still standing, was designed by Jacques Gros, who is regarded as a typical exponent of the ‘Swiss Style’ of wooden architecture prevalent at the turn of the century. He designed, among other things, the Park Hotel – which is part of the Bürgenstock Resort, and the Grand Hotel Dolder, which is situated on Adlisberg hill in Zurich.
In 1914 Gustav Adolf Tobler donated a neoclassical fountain installation to the City of Zurich that was erected in Toblerplatz. The municipal architect of the day, Gustav Gull, was responsible for the design. He also designed Zurich’s Landesmuseum (the Swiss National Museum). The bothers Walter and Oskar Mertens created the garden adjoining the museum, which together with the alpine gardens surrounding the chalet and the installation at Toblerplatz constitute a stylistic unit. This part of the park and the associated buildings still exist today.

The villa complex and the ‘Im Forster’ villa that remains were built between 1929 and 1931 by the Zurich architects Henauer & Witschi. Their clients were Helen Dürler-Tobler, daughter of Gustav Adolf Tobler, and her husband Alfred Dürler. Architectural examples of historicism and the Neues Bauen (literally ‘New Building’) movement merged together here in a unique way. Typologically, the building is representative of developments in villa architecture of the 19th century. In terms of the Neues Bauen movement, there is a modernity about the architectural language and the strong connection between built structures and the environment they occupy. The park was redesigned by landscape architect Ernst Klingenfuss. Up to the present day, his concept has generally been adhered to.