“Schweizweit. Recent Architecture in Switzerland” at S AM Basel

Following the facade installation ‘Imagine la Suisse’, marking the start of the new S AM programme under the lead of director Andreas Ruby, S AM is opening the exhibition ‘Schweizweit‘, a visual atlas of recent architectural production in Switzerland.

 

Thal school Angela Deuber Thal (SG), 2013 © Schaub Stierli Fotografie

Thal school, Angela Deuber, Thal (SG), 2013, © Schaub Stierli Fotografie

 

The image of Swiss architecture today is still very strongly characterised by the 1990s, when it was catapulted into the global spotlight and became a model of architectural minimalism. The architects who stood for this reduced and sublimated concept of building at the time – such as Herzog & de Meuron, Diener & Diener, Peter Zumthor, Peter Märkli, etc. – are still regarded as pars pro toto for Swiss architecture, at least from an international perspective. We hear much less about the architects of the subsequent generations, who have been intervening more and more actively in the architecture debate since then.’Schweizweit’ tracks down the architecture firms that have developed over the past two decades.


 

Practical information

“Schweizweit. Recent Architecture in Switzerland”
Novermber 19, 2016 – May 07, 2017
S AM Swiss Architecture Museum
Steinenberg 7, 4001 Basel
Switzerland

 


What and where are they designing and building, and what content and issues are important to them? The resulting exhibition provides a topography of architectural work in Switzerland that, with the surprising diversity of the presented works, uncovers the positive potential that emerges for architecture through the cultural, historical, linguistic and geographical differences that so strongly define this country’s character.

 

Two-family apartment houses Staehelin Meyer Architekten Riehen (BS), 2014 © Staehelin Meyer Architekten

Two-family apartment houses, Staehelin Meyer Architekten, Riehen (BS), 2014 © Staehelin Meyer Architekten

Conversion Obstalden lilitt bollinger studio Obstalden (GL), 2016 © Mark Niedermann

Conversion Obstalden, lilitt bollinger studio, Obstalden (GL), 2016 © Mark Niedermann

 

A list of over 300 names was compiled and S AM invited all those on the list to participate, sending them three questions. In response, each had to send in an image with a caption. A total of 162 architectural offices accepted and sent us their responses, which were then defined more precisely in a dialogue.

 

Fünf Häuser Lukas Lenherr Rapperswil (SG), 2011 © Walter Mair

Fünf Häuser, Lukas Lenherr, Rapperswil (SG), 2011 © Walter Mair

Unithèque, extension of Bibliothèque cantonale et universitaire de Lausanne Fruehauf Henry & Viladoms Lausanne (VD), 2015-2020 © Maaars

Unithèque, extension of Bibliothèque cantonale et universitaire de Lausanne, Fruehauf Henry & Viladoms, Lausanne (VD), 2015-2020 © Maaars

 

The selected images are as diverse as the reactions of the architects. What has emerged is a visual atlas of recent architectural production in Switzerland. The exhibition shows commonalities and differences in the issues, content and formal strategies that matter to Swiss architects today.

 

Musée Cantonal des Beaux-Arts Made in Lausanne (VD), 2011 © Made in

Musée Cantonal des Beaux-Arts, Made in, Lausanne (VD), 2011 © Made in

Moréchon primary school and gymhall rk studio Savièse (VS), 2014 © Dominique Uldry

Moréchon primary school and gymhall rk studio Savièse (VS), 2014 © Dominique Uldry

 

This first exhibition under the lead of S AM director Andreas Ruby reflects his vision for S AM: devoid of thresholds, contemporary, collaborative, Switzerland-wide. In future, the role of exchange and discourse, regardless of whether they accompany exhibitions or are thematically independent, will be just as important as that of the exhibitions themselves.

 

"Schweizweit. Recent Architecture in Switzerland" exhibition view © Tom Bisig

“Schweizweit. Recent Architecture in Switzerland” exhibition view © Tom Bisig

"Schweizweit. Recent Architecture in Switzerland" exhibition view © Tom Bisig

“Schweizweit. Recent Architecture in Switzerland” exhibition view © Tom Bisig

 

PUBLICATION

A Christoph Merian Verlag publication will be released to coincide with the exhibition opening, also under the title ‘Schweizweit’. ‘Schweizweit’ portrays a snapshot of the architecture production in Switzerland in the year 2016. Whilst the image of Swiss architecture, especially internationally, is still strongly characterised by the 1990s and minimalism, the current constructed reality is more heterogeneous and regionally differentiated. In cooperation with around 160 architectural practices from throughout the country a visual atlas of current Swiss architecture has been created. Richly illustrated, this book shows the commonalities and differences in the themes, content and formal strategies that Swiss architects focus on today. Each submission appears in the respective national language: German, French or Italian. All texts have English translations.

 

"Schweizweit. Recent Architecture in Switzerland" exhibition view © Tom Bisig
"Schweizweit. Recent Architecture in Switzerland" exhibition view © Tom Bisig
"Schweizweit. Recent Architecture in Switzerland" exhibition view © Tom Bisig
"Schweizweit. Recent Architecture in Switzerland" exhibition view © Tom Bisig
"Schweizweit. Recent Architecture in Switzerland" exhibition view © Tom Bisig
"Schweizweit. Recent Architecture in Switzerland" exhibition view © Tom Bisig
"Schweizweit. Recent Architecture in Switzerland" exhibition view © Tom Bisig
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"Schweizweit. Recent Architecture in Switzerland" exhibition view © Tom Bisig
"Schweizweit. Recent Architecture in Switzerland" exhibition view © Tom Bisig
"Schweizweit. Recent Architecture in Switzerland" exhibition view © Tom Bisig
"Schweizweit. Recent Architecture in Switzerland" exhibition view © Tom Bisig
"Schweizweit. Recent Architecture in Switzerland" exhibition view © Tom Bisig
"Schweizweit. Recent Architecture in Switzerland" exhibition view © Tom Bisig
"Schweizweit. Recent Architecture in Switzerland" exhibition view © Tom Bisig

 

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