Pavilion of Switzerland at the 15th International Architecture Exhibion - La Biennale di Venezia

«Incidental Space» A project by Christian Kerez
Although, technologically speaking, more is possible today than ever before, architectural freedom has been greatly limited by a monumental level of regulation. In this context, the project «Incidental Space» by the architect Christian Kerez is intended as fundamental research. As part of the Swiss contribution to the Biennale Architettura 2016, its aim is to investigate the possibilities — technically, as much as in our imagination — of how to think, build and experience architecture differently.

Laufen has been supporting the ARCH+ issue RELEASE ARCHITECTURE – INCIDENTAL SPACE.
Co-edited by Sandra Oehy & Christian Kerez. It gives a theoretical background to the presentation at the Swiss Pavilion at the 15th International Architecture Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia.
On June 16th we will host the Architecture during Art Symposium "Release Architecture" which Laufen developed in collaboration with the Swiss Arts Council Pro Helvetia, Sandra Oehy, curator of the Swiss Pavilion at the Biennale Architettura 2016 and Anh-Linh Ngo, editor in chief of Arch+. Find out more here


Complementing the exhibition at the Pavilion of Switzerland at the 15th International Architecture Exhibition – la Biennale di Venezia, the Swiss Arts Council Pro Helvetia organises a Collateral Event entitled «Salon Suisse». The «Salon Suisse», now in its fifth year, is a programme of talks and events offering a platform for exchange on contemporary architecture and thought in a relaxed atmosphere.
Laufen Bathrooms AG is delighted to be the partner of the Salon Suisse in the fifth year. As a brand standing for a symbiosis of design, quality and functionality, we have been supporting the events at the Palazzo Trevisan since the beginning with the intention to participate in and encourage an international dialogue in the fields of architecture and design.

Wake up! A path towards better architecture
The «Salon Suisse» is drafted by Leïla el-Wakil, architect, art historian and professor at Geneva University. For the opening event and over the course of four weekends during the Biennale Architettura 2016, she proposes an inspiring programme that focuses on consideration for heritage and tradition, sustainability, equity and ethics of tomorrow’s «glocal» architecture. Swiss and foreign architects, engineers, researchers, filmmakers and artists are invited to share their knowledge and experience around the theme of «a better architecture for tomorrow».

«The hell of reinforced concrete» 26 May
The opening event takes place on 26 May at 6.30pm outdoors in front of the Palazzo Trevisan and is accompanied by an Apéro riche. It will offer words of greeting by Salonnière Leïla el-Wakil, a performance of the drama «The hell of reinforced concrete», written by Hassan Fathy (1964) and statements on the Salon’s title «Wake up! A path towards better architecture» by Anna Heringer (Germany), Martin Rauch (Austria), and Simón Vélez (Colombia).

«New Schools of Thought» 28 May
The opening will be followed by a visit to the Palazzo Trevisan of some special guests from Liechtenstein on Saturday 28 May at 1pm. «New Schools of Thought», an intensive, ephemeral event exploring the borders of architectural education with short spoken inputs, critiques and performances by experts, is based on the international research project with the same name initiated at the University of Liechtenstein (

«Let’s rediscover» 16 to 18 June
The «Salon Suisse» continues in June with the theme «Let’s rediscover». Guests include young Geneva-based company Terrabloc who explore sustainability and the economic use of resources, and architect Salma Samar Damluji from Beirut, who questions how to integrate new buildings without destroying the harmony and spirit of traditional building methods. Manuel Herz offers a guided tour of his «Pavilion for the Western Sahara», followed by architect Bill Bouldin speaking about his emergency constructions built in Gaza in 2009 and a screening of the documentary «Hors Champs d’Oliviers» in the presence of filmmaker Dominique Fleury.

«Let’s build» 8 to 10 September
In September, Salonnière Leïla el-Wakil returns to Venice and encourages us with the title «Let’s build». The theme of self-build will be central to this Salon. Since World War II, attempts of re-appropriation of house construction were made by movements such as Castors in France or the hippie generation in different communities such as Christiania in Copenhagen or Montredon in Larzac. Guests include Daniel Grataloup (Geneva), Mariana Correia (Portugal), Ahmad Hamid (Egypt) as well as the Egyptian artist Ammar Abo Bakr.

«Let’s dig» 20 to 22 October
The third Salon entitled «Let’s dig» explores «underground architecture», an ancient type of construction. Reinterpreting troglodytic devices within contemporary architecture is still a challenge, but might provide a solution for energy expenses. Architect and pioneer in the field Peter Vetsch (Zurich) will visit the «Salon Suisse», Mahnaz Ashrafi (Iran) will speak about the Iranian plateau, one of the richest concentration of troglodytic dwellings, and priest and scholar Maximous El-Antony will tell the public about a Coptic complex of churches and worship places in the mountain of Mukkatam (Egypt).

«Let’s reduce» 24 to 26 November
During the last weekend of the Biennale Architettura 2016, «Let’s reduce» explores how we can build smartly and for the poor. This final Salon, which will end in an artistic synthesis where creation and interrogation will be linked, includes guests such as LVPH, a young Swiss architecture practice which has explored the potential of small-sized housing and renowned architect David Adjaye (London, New York, Accra) and maecena Ellen Baxter (New York), who will talk about a new typology for affordable housing. Once again, the Salon will leave the Palazzo Trevisan to visit the Pavilion «Horizontal Metropolis» with Cyril Veillon (EPFL/Archizoom).

The «Salon Suisse» 2016 will be exclusively accompanied and documented by Hochparterre, its official media partner. Hochparterre will provide background information with written articles, audiostatements, visuals and free live streaming of part of the «Salon Suisse» talks on

Location: Palazzo Trevisan degli Ulivi, Dorsoduro 810, Vaporetto stop: Zattere




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