Los Angeles & Switzerland

Jan. 23 to Jun. 23, 2019

Rice Design Alliance announces its annual design and architecture traveling program for 2019 with trips to Los Angeles and Switzerland.


In January 2019, the first of RDA's two 2019 Hometown Tours will return to the ever-changing City of Dreams, Los Angeles. for a fresh look at the city and its architecture.
We’ll kick off our trip at the very top of LA’s City Hall, where we’ll meet the Mayor’s chief design officer and former LA Times architecture critic, Christopher Hawthorne, to overlook at bird’s eye view a breathtaking perspective of the sprawling city’s urban landscape. We’ll visit the inside of the Eames house and will see the incomparable home of Tony Duquette, one of the most influential interior designers of the last 50 years. Other highlights include a behind the scenes studio visit to the architecture firm Johnston Marklee to talk about how Houston’s newest cultural jewel, The Drawing Institute at the Menil, was conceived. We’ll also enjoy a private guided tour of The Broad contemporary art museum, and will be hosted by Houser & Wirth Gallery for a private dinner in their exclusive gallery spaces. Our group will also get to see Case Study number 22, better known as the Stahl House and the MAK/Schindler House, and participate in tours of new urban developments that are meeting the changing needs of Los Angeles’s residents, led by the architects who designed them. Brunch in Santa Monica at the iconic Rose Café will round out our tour, with enough time for shopping and exploring on your own, too.
We begin the tour at 2 pm at the LaPeer Hotel in Los Angeles. We will wrap up the tour on the 27th in the morning.
We can not think of a better person to show you Switzerland’s architecture, history and design than Rice School of Architecture’s Director of Undergraduate Studies and Swiss native Reto Geiser. He, along with Rice Design Alliance executive director Maria Nicanor, and architect and professor Carlos Jimenez, will help us discover the culture, architectural highlights and striking beauty of this enchanting country. Dr. Geiser will show us two cities, Basel and Zürich, and a slice of the stunning landscape in the Alps and introduce us to a cross-section of Swiss building culture and architectural highlights from the past and the present.

We will begin our tour in Basel. Basel is not only home to world renowned art fairs and museums, but also one of the most important European centers of twentieth century and contemporary architecture. Zürich, the largest city in Switzerland, has become a laboratory for progressive housing solutions, experimental school buildings, and a breadth of cultural institutions. We will conclude the tour by leaving the city for the Alpine region of Grisons. Staged in a dramatic landscape, and challenged by a vernacular tradition, material constraints, and the forces of nature, we will explore the numerous works of Pritzker laureate Peter Zumthor, and conclude our tour with a stay at the breathtakingly beautiful thermal spa he designed.

Because Switzerland is small and close to so many other fantastic European destinations, we encourage our guests to begin their trips before the RDA Tour at Art Basel or extend your trip with a visit to the Venice Biennale, the Italian Lake District,  Germany, France, or Austria.