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biennials.ch
17th International Architecture Exhibition – la Biennale di Venezia
23 May - 29 Nov 2020
General Information

The 17th International Architecture Exhibition takes place in Venice from 23 May to 29 November 2020 (Press Preview 21, 22 May 2020) at the Giardini and at the Arsenale as well as at various venues in the city. The main exhibition is curated by Hashim Sarkis.

The Swiss Arts Council Pro Helvetia has appointed a project team consisting of Mounir Ayoub, Vanessa Lacaille, from Laboratoire d’architecture in Geneva, and Fabrice Aragno and Pierre Szczepski to realise the Pavilion of Switzerland at the Biennale Architettura 2020.

Architect and curator Evelyn Steiner is responsible for the «Salon Suisse» 2020, a programme of talks and events supplementing the exhibition at the Swiss Pavilion.

The «Salon Suisse» 2020 will take place at the Palazzo Trevisan degli Ulivi during the 17th International Architecture Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia (23 May to 29 November 2020). Evelyn Steiner will be directing and hosting the Salon Suisse in 2020 around a theme to be released soon. 

The project team for the 2020 Swiss Pavilion is currently touring around Switzerland to get material for the upcoming their exhibition presentation in Venice in May 2020. To follow the team's moves across the borders of Switzerland: 

https://swissbordertour.ch

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"By meeting the residents at the Swiss borders, the first phase of the project consists of a journey that began in June and will continue until the end of 2019. At each stage, model and video workshops will be installed in the public space. The residents of the communes are invited to share their stories and build models of a place of their choice. The collected material will then be displayed at the Swiss Pavilion in Venice as wells as in the different border municipalities. The website will be active during the touring phase and during the travelling exhibitions in Switzerland."

– Fabrice Aragno, Mounir Ayoub, Vanessa Lacaille, Pierre Szczepski, and Annabelle Voisin.



The Venice Architecture Biennale is considered one of the most respected platforms for architecture and urban design worldwide. In light of the 17th International Architecture Exhibition due to open in May 2020, the Swiss Arts Council Pro Helvetia for the second time conducted a competition to choose a team, which is to represent Switzerland at the Biennale di Venezia. Out of the 51 applications submitted, seven teams were picked to present their project. Five of these projects were subsequently selected for a second round. At the unanimous recommendation of the Biennale jury appointed by Pro Helvetia, the assignment to create the exhibition at the Swiss Pavilion went to Mounir Ayoub, Vanessa Lacaille, from Laboratoire d’architecture in Geneva, and Fabrice Aragno and Pierre Szczepski.

The project 
The winning team had opted for the politically topical theme of «borders», exploring it as a spatial phenomenon. The project also raises the question of how borders are perceived by people who actually live close to them. In what different ways do people experience borders? How do we relate to them? What spatial and physical dimensions does a border take on? In order to find some answers, the team actively involves inhabitants from the catchment area of the Swiss borders. Drawing from this research, the team aims to create an exhibition that speaks specifically of Swiss borders, but also raises for debate the subject of borders in general.  

The project team  
Mounir Ayoub, architect and journalist; Vanessa Lacaille, architect and garden designer; Fabrice Aragno, film director, producer and cutter; and Pierre Szczepski, painter, sculptor and model maker. Mounir Ayoub and Vanessa Lacaille work together at Laboratoire d'architecture in Geneva. The firm combines architectural and landscaping experiments with research and writing activities.

The jury 
The jury was made up of Céline Guibat (jury president, architect EPFL, SIA, Zurich, Sion), Anna Hohler (architecture critic, UNIL, SIA, Lausanne), Verena Konrad (architecture curator, Vorarlberg, Austria), Lukas Meyer (architect ETH, FAS, Bellinzona) and Rob Wilson (architecture writer, The architects’ journal, London, UK).  
 
This year, 51 dossiers were submitted to Pro Helvetia and in accordance to the competition regulations, seven projects have been selected for the shortlist of the competition.
 
These seven projects have been chosen by Pro Helvetia based on the recommendation of a specialised jury:
  • «Les villes suisses se jettent à l'eau», a project of Paysage n’co sarl: Valérie Hoffmeyer, Monique Keller and Sylvie Kleiber - Geneva
  • «Open Limit», a project of LVPH Architectes: Laurent Vuilleumier and Paul Humbert - Pampigny
  • «The seven rules», a project of studioSML: Sara Cavicchioli, Léo Collomb, Max Collomb and Lisa Collomb - Lausanne
  • «Thicknesses of the Swiss border», a project of Le Laboratoire d'architecture: Mounir Ayoub, Vanessa Lacaille, Fabrice Aragno and Pierre Szczepski - Geneva
  • «True Story», a project of Patrick Arnold and Benjamin Groothuijse - Zurich
  • «VILLA SVIZZERA», a project of Josephine Eigner, Michelle Geilinger, Dennis Häusler and Jan Westerheide - Zurich
  • «Walla», a project of Mikael Blomfelt, Roger Boltshauser, Andres Bosshard, Veronika Spierenburg and Sabine von Fischer - Zurich
In the first round of the selection procedure, the jury conducted three stages of evaluation, which resulted in seven projects remaining in the competition. In stage one, the projects submitted were closely assessed and compared. Each jury member was instructed to personally rate the 51 entries and to pick a selection of them for the actual evaluation. Stages two and three consisted of comparing the results and cutting the number of projects retained down to seven.
 
The seven projects have been presented to the jury in a meeting in November 2018. The candidates that have been selected based on their presentation have been able to pursue and develop their projects for two months before the final assessment.
 
Salon Suisse

«Salon Suisse» 2020

Organised by the Swiss Arts Council Pro Helvetia, the «Salon Suisse» runs concomitantly to the exhibition at the Swiss Pavilion and is now in its ninth year. The programme consists of a series of lectures, talks and cultural events, and, over several long weekends, aims to provide a meeting point for the entire duration of the Biennale. It offers an opportunity to discuss art and the Biennale in a relaxed and stimulating atmosphere.

Evelyn Steiner, curator at the ZAZ (Zentrum Architektur Zürich, Switzerland), is developing the programme for the «Salon Suisse» 2020, which she will be directing and hosting, around a theme to be released soon.

Swiss Pavilion
Le laboratoire d’architecture (Vanessa Lacaille, Mounir Ayoub), Fabrice Aragno and Pierre Szczepski at the Biennale Architettura 2020 - © Le laboratoire d’architecture
The Venice Architecture Biennale is considered one of the most respected platforms for architecture and urban design worldwide. In light of the 17th International Architecture Exhibition due to open in May 2020, the Swiss Arts Council Pro Helvetia for the second time conducted a competition to choose a team, which is to represent Switzerland at the Biennale di Venezia. Out of the 51 applications submitted, seven teams were picked to present their project. Five of these projects were subsequently selected for a second round. At the unanimous recommendation of the Biennale jury appointed by Pro Helvetia, the assignment to create the exhibition at the Swiss Pavilion went to Mounir Ayoub, Vanessa Lacaille, from Laboratoire d’architecture in Geneva, and Fabrice Aragno and Pierre Szczepski.

News
11 Apr 2019
The Swiss Arts Council Pro Helvetia has commissioned a team of architects comprising Mounir Ayoub, Vanessa Lacaille, from Laboratoire d’architecture in Geneva, and Fabrice Aragno and Pierre Szczepski to create the Swiss Pavilion exhibition at the 2020 Architecture Biennale in Venice. Their project was chosen out of 51 applications. It deals with the spatial perception of Swiss borders.
 
2nd round
 
04 Feb 2019
 
02 Nov 2018
First round of competition for Swiss Pavilion at Architecture Biennale 2020 announced!
The Venice Architecture Biennale is considered one of the most respected platforms for architecture and urban design worldwide. In light of the 17th International Architecture Exhibition due to open in 2020, the Swiss Arts Council Pro Helvetia has launched its second general competition for the exhibition project at the Swiss Pavilion.
 
This year, 51 dossiers were submitted to Pro Helvetia and in accordance to the competition regulations, seven projects have been selected for the shortlist of the competition.
 
These seven projects have been chosen by Pro Helvetia based on the recommendation of a specialised jury:
 
  •     «Les villes suisses se jettent à l'eau», a project of Paysage n’co sarl: Valérie Hoffmeyer, Monique Keller and Sylvie Kleiber - Geneva
  •     «Open Limit», a project of LVPH Architectes: Laurent Vuilleumier and Paul Humbert - Pampigny
  •     «The seven rules», a project of studioSML: Sara Cavicchioli, Léo Collomb, Max Collomb and Lisa Collomb - Lausanne
  •     «Thicknesses of the Swiss border», a project of Le Laboratoire d'architecture: Mounir Ayoub, Vanessa Lacaille, Fabrice Aragno and Pierre Szczepski - Geneva
  •     «True Story», a project of Patrick Arnold and Benjamin Groothuijse - Zurich
  •     «VILLA SVIZZERA», a project of Josephine Eigner, Michelle Geilinger, Dennis Häusler and Jan Westerheide - Zurich
  •     «Walla», a project of Mikael Blomfelt, Roger Boltshauser, Andres Bosshard, Veronika Spierenburg and Sabine von Fischer - Zurich
 
In the first round of the selection procedure, the jury conducted three stages of evaluation, which resulted in seven projects remaining in the competition. In stage one, the projects submitted were closely assessed and compared. Each jury member was instructed to personally rate the 51 entries and to pick a selection of them for the actual evaluation. Stages two and three consisted of comparing the results and cutting the number of projects retained down to seven.
 
The seven projects will be presented again to the jury in a meeting on 16 November 2018. The candidates that will be selected based on their presentation will be able to pursue and develop their projects for two months before the final assessment.
 
Pro Helvetia and the independent jury will nominate the final project for the Swiss Pavilion at the 17th International Architecture Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia 2020 in the course of 2019.
 
18 Jun 2018
The Venice Architecture Biennale is one of the most prominent platforms for architecture and urban planning worldwide. Its 17th edition is due to start in spring 2020. For the second time, Pro Helvetia has decided to choose the Swiss contribution by means of a competition. Eligible for participation are architects and interdisciplinary teams operating in the field of architecture. Members of a team must be Swiss citizens or else have a clear connection to Switzerland.

Please find Information on the competition is available here

The selection procedure is divided into two stages. In a first round, interested parties can submit a draft of their project via our application portal www.myprohelvetia.ch by 16 September 2018 at the latest. All contributions submitted will be publicly exhibited at a later date.
 
Press Material

For further high-res images
Please contact: caroline@picklespr.com

Press Contact
Switzerland: Lisa Stadler, Communication and Media Relations, Pro Helvetia,
​lstadler@prohelvetia.ch

International: Caroline Widmer, Pickles PR,
caroline@picklespr.com, +44 (0)7908 848 075