12th International Architecture Exhibition in Venice: Opening of the Swiss Pavilion

Bern, 26.08.2010 - The Federal Office of Culture FOC is responsible for organising and overseeing the Swiss Pavilion at the 12th International Architecture Exhibition, which opens in Venice today, 29 August. At the suggestion of the Federal Art Commission (FAC), the architect Jürg Conzett has been officially invited to curate Switzerland's contribution.

The display in the Swiss Pavilion – which has been made possible and is being overseen for the seventh time by the Federal Office of Culture – can be seen on the grounds of the Biennale. The exhibition runs from 29 August to 21 November 2010.

Focus on «Landscape and Structures»
Switzerland's contribution to the international exhibition – curated by Jürg Conzett and entitled «Landscape and Structures» – is the result of forays made throughout Switzerland by the architect and the photographer Martin Linsi. Conzett has conceived 23 chambers in which he demonstrates his interest in man-made structures that, on the one hand, occupy the middle-ground between technology, tradition and affordability. At the same time, the structures are designed to elicit certain emotional responses in the visitors.

Conzett's choice of structures sheds light on what he finds of particular personal relevance. The selection is therefore, by definition, subjective – no representation is made as to its impartiality. Rounding off the exhibition is a chamber featuring the Trutg dil Flem project, a new hiking trail in Flims that follows the course of the Flembach stream and for which Conzett has designed a number of footbridges.

Accompanying publication
To mark Switzerland's participation in the 12th International Architecture Exhibition in Venice, the Federal Office of Culture has produced a publication entitled «Landscapes and Structures – a personal inventory of Jürg Conzett, photographed by Martin Linsi» (Scheidegger & Spiess, Zurich, ISBN 978-3-85881-321-3). With essays by Jürg Conzett and 162 photographs by Martin Linsi, the 272-page catalogue is available at all good bookshops and costs CHF 50 / EUR 42.

Jürg Conzett
Jürg Conzett was born in 1956 and studied civil engineering at the Federal Institutes of Technology in Lausanne (EPFL/ETHL) and Zurich (ETHZ). He worked for the architect Peter Zumthor before establishing his own engineering bureau in Haldenstein, Canton Graubünden, in 1988. Since 1999 he has worked at the Chur-based civil engineering consultancy Conzett, Bronzini, Gartenmann AG, where he and his colleagues design bridges and load-bearing structures for buildings. He has contributed to a range of architectural and engineering publications and regularly gives talks on his area of expertise. Conzett and Peter Zumthor were jointly awarded the Grosser «Preis für alpine Architektur» in 1999 (a major prize honouring architectural excellence in the alpine environment). Conzett became a member of the Federal Commission for Monument Preservation in 2009.

The Swiss Pavilion exhibition
The press days are from 26 to 28 August 2010, during which accredited members of the international media will have free access to the Swiss Pavilion.

The International Architecture Exhibition's doors open to the public on 29 August and close on 21 November 2010. Opening times: Tue – Sun, 10-18 h; closed Mondays.

Address for enquiries

Media contact:
Dr. Urs Staub, tel. +41 79 746 33 37, e-mail venezia@istitutosvizzero.it

Project manager of the Swiss contribution to the International Architecture Exhibition in Venice is Dr. Urs Staub, Head of the Museums and Collections Section of the Federal Office of Culture:
Tel. +41 31 322 92 70; fax +41 322 78 34; e-mail urs.staub@bak.admin.ch


Federal Office of Cultural Affairs