Herzog & de Meuron Basel Ltd.
4056 Basel, Switzerland
- 26 May − 02 July 1994
“At the same time and in the same town, at the Swiss Institute, we were showing five projects for competitions, never realized. The space of the Swiss Institute is small and intimate. It reminded us a bit of a library. So as to bring out this architectural aspect of the place – the atmosphere of a reading room – we proposed setting side by side the glass covered tables in which we had arranged all the graphic documents relating to the five projects. […] At the same time, and in two different places within this immense town, a primarily visual installation at the Peter Blum gallery, and a more conceptual one at the Swiss Institute, was a fascinating thing to do.”1
The exhibition at the Swiss Institute is one of two exhibitions in 1994 to present Herzog & de Meuron’s work in the United States for the first time. The Swiss Institute in New York invited the architects to show their most important submissions to a number of international competitions. After an initial site inspection in March, the architects decided to transform the gallery – a former dining hall – into a monastic study chamber with long tables lined up side by side, on which plans, maps, sketches and models are displayed. The competition entries cover a variety of architectural projects, ranging from a Greek-Orthodox church (Zurich, 1989), a cultural center in Blois (France, 1991), the master plan of the World Expo Site 2000 in Hanover (Germany, 1992) towards the settlement plan for Sils/Cuncas (Engadine Valley, 1991) and the plans for “A Building for the Museums of the 20th Century“. The second exhibition took place at Peter Blum Gallery (5 June – 5 September 1994) and featured eight photographic interpretations of Herzog & de Meuron’s most important recent architectural projects by the German photographer Thomas Ruff. In the following year, 1995, Herzog & de Meuron worked together with Rémy Zaugg on presenting their work in the Centre Georges Pompidou. This collaboration trenched the spatial and visual display at the Swiss Institute into another light, provoking to perceive it as a first step: “This arrangement, with its rows of tables, a few chairs allowing one to sit down and study the plans on display under the glass sheets, could be taken as a first step towards the radical conception that you (Rémy Zaugg) have just come up with at Beaubourg.”2
Herzog & de Meuron, 2013
(1) Rémy Zaugg: Herzog & de Meuron. An Exhibition. Edited by: Kunsthaus Bregenz. Exh. Cat. Herzog & de Meuron. Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris. 8 March – 22 May 1995. Ostfildern-Ruit, Hatje Cantz, 1996. (= archiv architektur kunst. Art and Architecture: A Dialogue), p. 16.
(2) Rémy Zaugg: Herzog & de Meuron. An Exhibition. Edited by: Kunsthaus Bregenz. Exh. Cat. Herzog & de Meuron. Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris. 8 March – 22 May 1995. Ostfildern-Ruit, Hatje Cantz, 1996. (= archiv architektur kunst. Art and Architecture: A Dialogue), p. 16.