The aim of the semester is to reflect on the public and the domestic, on interior spaces and their potential qualities and meanings, and on the influences that these spaces might have on the wider landscapes around them. Based on these findings we will design architectural projects in which the old and the new coexist without erasing each other. We will define the spatial strategies and constructive details that support this coexistence, while at the same time showcasing unknown heritage.
In times when new domestic architecture is characterised by an extremely dry and neutral palette of interiors (as shown in Switzerland’s last contribution to the Venice Biennial of Architecture), and when many new public buildings are bunker-like objects that have turned their backs on the public realm (Swiss museums of the last decade are almost caricature-like examples), our aim is to reflect on modest strategies that aim to challenge our collective view of these types. We will design architectural projects that endeavour to blur the lines between set categories (private, public, interior, exterior, urban, domestic, etc) and will attempt to appreciate the impact these projects might have.
In order to make the most of our limited ability to travel, we will (re)discover a regional condition of almost mythological importance: the lakeshore – a precious, changing line, whose access is disputed between public authorities and private owners. We will first examine this line and its promenades, fishing harbours, collections of villas, buildings that have changed function over time, restaurants, sports centres, etc. We will look at what is already present in order to identify the buildings in which new public programmes might be developed. We will then study these buildings in order to understand the qualities and shortcomings of their architecture, as well as their specific relationship with the shoreline and the public domain.
Image Credits © HEAD – Geneva, Baptiste Coulon