Switzerland is a landlocked country, surrounded by Italy, France, Germany, Austria and Liechtenstein. It is suggested that in 2018, around 48 billion pounds in revenue was generated just from tourism. Many visit Switzerland for its beautiful landscape, delicious chocolate, the Alps, incredible cheese and fantastic wine. However, something that is often overlooked is Switzerland’s fascinating buildings, so we decided to take a look at some of its best modern architecture projects.
Fiore di Pietra, Monte Generoso
Tourists have been visiting Monte Generoso in Switzerland since 1890, and access to the incredible location is achieved by riding the railway, which has been running for around 129 years! The fascinating Fiore di Pietra was designed by architect Mario Botta and opened in 2017. Botta designed not only the building itself, but also the interior, and Brenni Engineering AG was commissioned for the structural analysis. Furthermore, Marzio Giorgetti Architetti SA was chosen to coordinate and manage the construction site, which was performed under highly challenging conditions at 1,700m altitude. Known as the “Stone Flower”, the Fiore di Pietra consists of two restaurants, a gallery, and a video displaying the construction process of the building.
Protective Buildings for Roman Archaeological Excavations, Chur
Chur is an Alpine city and is home to some Roman ruins. Switzerland decided to protect these archaeological excavations by building around them. Peter Zumthor designed a pavilion to surround the ruins, to not only preserve the history, but also to create a museum. The wooden structure allows visitors to the site to comprehend how architecture has changed over time, with the comparison of the ruins against the pavilion. Peter Zumthor designed the buildings to follow the original pattern of the ruins; therefore, the construction is somewhat similar to what it was like back in the day.
Zentrum Paul Klee, Bern
Zentrum Paul Klee was built in 2005 and is dedicated to one of the most influential artists of the 20th century, Paul Klee. His work is showcased in Switzerland with around 4,000 of his paintings on display. The Italian architect Renzo Piano, a winner of several awards, created the fascinating wave-like building in Switzerland. While the building is most famous for the Paul Klee exhibition, it is also home to a music and event hall, a children’s museum and multiple meeting rooms.
BIS Headquarters, Basel
Although it was built back in 1977, the BIS headquarters is still considered modern architecture with its impressive design. Between 1966 and 1972, BIS acquired the land where the tower stands today, but the original architectural design wasn’t implemented. The bank’s architect, Martin Burckhardt, suggested three different designs and the board of directors selected a round tower, standing 82 metres in height and consisted of 24 storeys. The reason this design didn’t go ahead was that the Swiss Heritage Society felt that the height of the building would obstruct the historic skyline of Basel. Eventually, it was redesigned by the Japanese firm Toyo Ito and Associates, and it now stands at a respectable 69.5 metres and has 24 floors; 20 above ground and four below.
The Rolex Learning Centre, Lausanne
The internationally renowned Japanese architecture firm SANAA designed the Rolex Learning Centre. The building is 20,000 metres squares and provides numerous services, such as libraries, study areas, restaurants and discussion spaces. The architectural design is incredibly smart as it consists of slopes, terraces and internal patios. Both students and the general public use the facilities at the Rolex Learning Centre, and the thought process with the curved design is to encourage people to interact with one another.
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