Tomorrow afternoon, 27 May, Swiss Federal Councillor Alain Berset will be at «Giardini» in Venice to officially open the Swiss Pavilion for the 15th Architecture Biennale of Venice. The Biennale, which regularly attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors, represents a global event focusing on issues of architecture, urban planning and spatial design.
Responsibility for the display at the Swiss Pavilion this year was assigned to Christian Kerez, a Zurich-based architect and professor at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH). Together with curator Sandra Oehy, he developed the exhibition «Incidental Space», a sort of research lab on the topic of architectural space. Working with experts from the fields of research, art and manufacturing (among them several ETH teams including one led by structural design professor Joseph Schwartz, as well as students of Mr Kerez himself), he applied a combination of manufacturing and the latest in 3D reproduction techniques to reach for the limits of what is currently feasible in architecture. The outcome is a complex spatial structure with a self-supporting concrete shell that measures, on average, a mere two centimetres in diameter. Simply by walking around, visitors of the Swiss Pavilion can gain a most extraordinary spatial experience. With his exhibition, Christian Kerez aims to encourage new ways of thinking about space and, in consequence, new ways of building. Overall responsibility for Switzerland’s presence at the Venice Biennale lies with Pro Helvetia.
Leïla el-Wakil from Geneva spotlights humane architecture
In parallel with the exhibition at the Swiss Pavilion, the Swiss Arts Council has organised its «Salon Suisse», located at Palazzo Trevisan degli Ulivi. It opens today and comprises a series of talks and events. Already in its fifth edition, «Salon Suisse» is this year run by Leïla el-Wakil, an architect, art historian and professor at the University of Geneva. The programme focuses on heritage and tradition, sustainability, fairness and ethical considerations as key factors for architecture in future. The 15th Venice Architecture Biennale is open until 27 November.
Media information: Isabel Drews , Communication,
Media Release of the Swiss Arts Council Pro Helvetia, 26.05.2016