Swiss architects trying their luck abroad is not a new phenomenon, but it was Ticino’s Tendenza and German-speaking Switzerland’s minimalism that first helped Swiss architecture to make its international breakthrough. The projects realised abroad are often larger, more monumental or more experimental than those in Switzerland.
“Schweizweit. Recent Architecture in Switzerland”
July 1 – November 12, 2017
S AM Swiss Architecture Museum
Steinenberg 7, 4001 Basel
Architects like Mario Botta, Bernard Tschumi, Peter Zumthor, Diener & Diener, and Herzog & de Meuron have created symbols of Swiss construction on the international stage. Construction abroad can entail risks, but despite this, it is by no means only the big names who plan and build abroad.
The exhibition ‘in Land aus Land’ and the ‘Import-Export’ issue of werk, bauen + wohnen to be released on the 21st of July are the results of a joint examination of knowledge transfer, cultural exchange, development aid and loss of control.
With projects by:Andreas Fuhrimann Gabrielle Hächler Architekten, Annika Seifert und Gunter Klix/APC, Bernard Tschumi Architects, BHSF, Diener & Diener Architekten, E2A, EM2N, Fabulous Urban, Herzog & de Meuron, HHF, Jaccaud Zein Architects, Jan Henrik Hansen + Rolf Iseli, Manuel Herz Architekten, Mario Botta Architetto, Markus Schietsch Architekten, Nele Dechmann Architektur, NOMOS Groupement d’Architectes, Pierre-Alain Dupraz, Architecte, raumbureau, Stocker Lee Architetti, Rahbaran Hürzeler Architects, saas, studio we architetti, Udo Thönnissen.
DESCRIPTION OF THE EXHIBITION
From the 1st of July to the 12th of November 2017, the Swiss Architecture Museum S AM presents the exhibition “in Land aus Land: Swiss Architects Abroad”, curated by Andreas Ruby, Viviane Ehrensberger and Stéphanie Savio.
“in Land aus Land” begins in the first room by positioning the theme within the historical context of the late 20th century. As early as 1978, ETH Zurich hosted the exhibition “Schweizer Bauen im Ausland” (Swiss Building Abroad). That show’s comprehensive catalogue documents construction activity from the 12th century onwards.
Rather than focusing on documentation of Swiss construction activity abroad, the S AM exhibition demonstrates the main milestones since the ’80s on the basis of example plans, photographs and models. Projects by Mario Botta, Bernard Tschumi, Peter Zumthor, Herzog & de Meuron, and Diener & Diener. In S AM’s main rooms, contemporary positions are presented. One focal aspect here is that of residential buildings built abroad in the last five years – from holiday homes and single-family houses to small residential blocks, right through to social housing schemes.
The ten projects, which came about through personal contacts, serve as examples that show how architects deal with the conditions they encounter. A dialogue exists between these projects and four central positions: those held by E2A, EM2N, HHF, and Herzog & de Meuron. What makes these offices stand out, is that they not only have no aversion to foreign countries, but on the contrary, they are increasingly making a name for themselves by means of their projects abroad. In interviews, the architects talk about their first experiences abroad and raise questions like: Why build abroad, as a Swiss architect? How much control does one have over the construction process and implementation? What is the architect’s role in other countries? What can be learnt abroad about Switzerland? And can building abroad become addictive? In addition, models, plans and pictures of realised and unrealised projects are shown.
The final exhibition room presents positions that involve architects realising projects in the field of development cooperation. These projects’ programmes and budgets differ greatly from those of more commercial projects. Considerable interest in local building materials and construction techniques is also evident. Here, the architects convey a desire to use their skills where their projects make a difference and where they are needed. Collaborations often occur with local institutions and offices, bringing about an exchange of knowledge that continues beyond the duration of the project.
In this presentation, a central role is played by the practice, teaching and research of Fabienne Hoelzel (Fabulous Urban), who plans and builds in Lagos in the context of urban planning, as well as Annika Seifert and Gunter Klix / APC, whose work facilitates the exchange between Switzerland and Tanzania at universities and at the architectural office APC Architectural Pioneering Consultants.