The "Swiss Mobile House": a creative and lasting showcase to promote Switzerland abroad
Bern, 07.11.2013 - As part of its mission to promote the image of Switzerland abroad, the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs unit Presence Switzerland has developed the concept of a "Swiss Mobile House". The mobile house aims to have a lasting impact and represent Switzerland's interests at major international events in the long term. Switzerland's solid tradition in architecture and design will allow Presence Switzerland and its partners to promote Swiss entrepreneurs, athletes, scientists and artists in a creative way throughout the world. Developed by the architects of Spillmann Echsle and built entirely in Switzerland, the house will be used for the first time at the Winter Olympic Games in Sochi in February 2014.
With the Olympic Games in Sochi in 2014, in Rio in 2016, and the World Expo in Milan in 2015, the upcoming years are packed with major international events where Switzerland will be showcasing itself and representing its interests to the public at large, the media and decision-makers. In this light, Presence Switzerland decided to develop the "Swiss Mobile House" which will be used on several occasions and functions as a flexible and creative vehicle for public diplomacy promoting Swiss interests.
The "Swiss Mobile House" consists of four houses ranging in size and covering a total of 730m² and will allow Switzerland to adapt its public activities according to the context and realities of each country where it is active. Presence Switzerland's partners, both public and private, will also have their place in this flexible construction which can be arranged in various formations depending on the event. This new public relations tool, budgeted at CHF 2 million, will help to showcase and promote the best of Switzerland in its fields of interest, ranging from the economy and science to political systems, sport, gastronomy and culture. "The Swiss Mobile House is a powerful and effective symbol for Switzerland's image abroad" said Ambassador Nicolas Bideau, head of Presence Switzerland. "It allows us to recreate a miniature version of Switzerland throughout the world, and recreating a Swiss atmosphere abroad is one of the best marketing tools to promote our country," he added.
In choosing architectural firm Spillmann Echsle in Zurich, known for designing the Freitag Tower in the city's 5th district, Presence Switzerland has sought to showcase an object not only with ties to tradition, but also to contemporary Swiss architecture and design. The "Swiss Mobile House" is a collection of wooden houses inspired by the country’s mountain chalets but its modern design looks to the creators of contemporary Swiss architecture. The rationality of Le Corbusier and the functionalism of Max Bill are all to be found in the "Swiss Mobile House", which makes an assertive aesthetic statement. As with the architecture of the building, the house's construction is also steeped in national traditions. Each part of the house was designed in Switzerland, where are also located the companies that delivered the wood for the construction. From the harvesting of the timber, all of the following stages were also carried out in the country, demonstrating Swiss skills in a number of trades ranging from engineering and carpentry to furniture design and project management. "This simple and honest wooden construction epitomises an ambitious modesty that is true to our country's values" says Nicolas Bideau.
The "Swiss Mobile House" will begin its journey in Russia in the heart of the Olympic park at the Sochi Olympic Games from 7 to 23 February 2014. One part of the house will then head off to Italy from 1 to 10 May 2014 as the focus of the Milan leg of the Giro del Gusto. This public event which will also stop off in Rome and Turin is the first phase of Switzerland's presence in Italy leading up to the 2015 World Expo in Milan dedicated to the topic of food.
Photographs of the "Swiss Mobile House" can be downloaded at the following Internet address: www.houseofswitzerland.org/media-corner.
For further information:
Head of Presence Switzerland
+41 (0)79 667 69 15
Address for enquiries
Federal Palace West Wing
CH-3003 Bern, Switzerland
Tel.: +41 58 462 31 53
Federal Department of Foreign Affairs