This summer, Rice Design Alliance traveled to Switzerland under the expert guidance of Rice Architecture’s Associate Professor and Swiss native Reto Geiser. Together with Professor Carlos Jiménez, and Rice Design Alliance Executive Director Maria Nicanor, our group was guided through the historic and contemporary highlights of Switzerland’s architecture, history and design culture in an exclusive and behind the scenes itinerary covering Basel, Zürich and the Grisons area landscape of the Alps.
We began 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. Our itinerary had us strolling along the Rhine and visiting iconic museums such as the Kunstmuseum Basel and Herzog & de Meuron‘s Museum der Kulturen. A must visit to the Vitra Campus took us through the Factory Buildings of Nicholas Grimshaw (1981/1986); Frank O. Gehry’s Vitra Design Museum (1989); Zaha Hadid’s Fire Station (1993); Tadao Ando’s Conference Pavilion (1993); and Herzog & de Meuron‘s Vitra Schaudepot (2016), amongst so many others.
From Basel, we traveled to Zürich, the largest city in Switzerland, which has become a laboratory for progressive housing solutions, experimental school buildings, and a breadth of cultural institutions. We stopped at Karl Moser’s St. Antonius Church (1925–27), visited Christian Kerez‘s Leutschenbach School (2009) and visited Le Corbusier’s Pavillon Le Corbusier, (1967), with Prof. Arthur Rüegg. All within a full itinerary with explorations of public spaces and urban transformations across town.
We concluded 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 explored the numerous works of Pritzker laureate Peter Zumthor, and concluded our tour with a stay at the breathtakingly beautiful thermal spa of his design. Our time in Grisons included a visit to Barozzi Veiga‘s Bündner Kunstmuseum in Chur, as well as Peter Zumthor’s Shelters for the Roman Archaeological Site of Chur and his Saint Benedict Chapel in Sumvitg.
Because Switzerland is small and close to so many other fantastic European destinations, we encouraged our guests to begin their trips before the RDA Tour at Art Basel or to extend their trip with a visit to the Venice Biennale, the Italian Lake District, Germany, France, or Austria.
Participation in the Traveling Program is available to members of the Rice Design Alliance. Membership is open to all. Please contact Rice Design Alliance for information on future trips at 713-348-4876 or firstname.lastname@example.org