13th International Architecture Exhibition - la Biennale di Venezia:
29 Aug - 25 Nov 2012
27 Aug 2012
Swiss Pavilion at the 13th International Architecture Exhibition – la Biennale di Venezia. Miroslav Šik, «And Now the Ensemble!!!»
Photo: Miroslav Šik at the opening of the Swiss pavilion, 27th August 2012, Copyright Pro Helvetia
Exhibitors: Miroslav Šik in collaboration with Knapkiewicz & Fickert and Miller & Maranta
Commissioners: Swiss Arts Council Pro Helvetia (Marianne Burki, Head of Visual Arts; Sandi Paucic, Project Leader Biennials Visual Arts)
Architect and ETH professor Miroslav Šik, one of the most radical and influential Swiss theorists of architecture, is representing Switzerland at the 13th International Architecture Exhibition – la Biennale di Venezia. His exhibition entitled «And Now the Ensemble!!!» represents a call for any new construction to be planned as an integral part of its environment. Šik makes a strong case for evolving ensembles rather than stand-alone works of architecture. 
Miroslav Šik, a theoretician, teacher and architect, worked on the term «Analogue Architecture» in the late 1980s. He stands for an architectural approach that is oriented towards the existing environment, its atmosphere and the construction tradition in a subtly radical way. It made Miroslav Šik an unmistakable protagonist in Switzerland and Europe, one who has influenced a whole generation of well-known present-day architects in Switzerland and abroad. Šik, born in what was then Czechoslovakia, has little time for star architecture that stands out in solitary splendour. His preference, especially in urban settings, is for each new entity to be planned as part of a building ensemble.
From left to right: Kaschka Knapkiewicz, Quintus Miller, Paola Maranta and Axel Fickert.
From left to right: Kaschka Knapkiewicz, Quintus Miller, Paola Maranta and Axel Fickert.

Given the title «And Now the Ensemble!!!», it is hardly surprising that Šik chose not to design the exhibition on his own. Two architecture firms, Kaschka Knapkiewicz & Axel Fickert from Zurich and Quintus Miller & Paola Maranta from Basel, were invited to collaborate on the Swiss Pavilion project. Using photographic emulsion technology, the architects jointly created a giant fresco expressing their vision of an ideal city, which now spans the four walls of the main Pavilion hall. A publication by Lars Müller Publishers, also to be called «And Now the Ensemble!!!», provides an in-depth view of Šik's work and influence, with contributions by Adam Caruso, Hans Kollhoff, Vittorio Magnago Lampugnani, Quintus Miller and Miroslav Šik himself. The book represents an appeal to architects, builders and authorities to view and plan urban construction as an ongoing, collective work of art.

Opening of the Swiss Pavilion 2012

Copyright: Pro Helvetia, Niklaus Stauss, Miroslav Šik

«Common Ground»: Swiss architects involved in the main exhibition 
With his programmatic call «And Now the Ensemble!!!», Miroslav Šik has captured something of the spirit of our times. British architect David Chipperfield, curator of the Biennale’s main exhibition called «Common Ground», pursues a similar approach, urging fellow architects to cooperate on a larger scale. Numerous renowned Swiss architects and architecture firms are represented at the exhibition, including Diener & Diener (Basel), Annette Gigon & Mike Guyer (Zurich), Herzog & de Meuron (Basel), HHF architekten (Basel), Knapkiewicz & Fickert (Zurich), Peter Märkli (Zurich), Valerio Olgiati (Flims), Luigi Snozzi (Locarno), Günther Vogt (Zurich) and Peter Zumthor (Haldenstein). Also on display are works by Peter Fischli and David Weiss (Zurich) as well as Susanna and Antonella Perin (Aarau and Rome).

Report on Swiss TV, Kulturplatz, 29th August 2012

Kulturplatz vom 29.08.2012