Recent Architecture in Switzerland
November 19, 2016–May 7, 2017
Lecture: December 1, 7–9pm, Stanislaus von Moos on the history of diversity in Swiss architecture
S AM Swiss Architecture Museum
Following the start of the new S AM program under the lead of director Andreas Ruby with the facade installation Imagine la Suisse, S AM is opening its first exhibition, Schweizweit (Switzerland-wide).
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 actively intervening in the architecture debate since then. Schweizweit tracks down the architecture firms that have developed over the past two decades. 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. The exhibition shows commonalities and differences in the issues, content and formal strategies that matter to Swiss architects today. This first exhibition under the lead of S AM director Andreas Ruby reflects his vision for S AM: devoid of thresholds, contemporary, collaborative, and Switzerland-wide. In the 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.
During the exhibition, S AM is to become a discussion platform and launches the event series entitled "Blind Dates." Towards this end, S AM is testing an experimental event format. In four panel discussions, architectural offices from various regions encounter each other and present their contributions to the exhibition, followed by a conversation about the most pressing issues for architecture in Switzerland today. Neither the offices nor the public know who the participants will be at any given evening, thus enhancing the challenge of the participants having to find common ground.
Blind Date 1: January 26, 6:30–9pm
Blind Date 2: February 16, 6:30–9pm
Blind Date 3: March 16, 6:30–9pm
Blind Date 4: April 27, 6:30–9pm
Curated by: Andreas Ruby, Viviane Ehrensberger and Stéphanie Savio.
Stiftung Pro Helvetia
Canton de Vaud
SWISSLOS/Kulturförderung, Kanton Graubünden