May 16–Jul 13, 2024

Borrowed scenery

Zollstrasse 115, Zurich CH8005
Tue–Wed 12 am–6 pm, Thu 2–8 pm, Fri 12 am–6 pm, Sat 11 am–5 pm

The influence of Japanese garden design is evident in numerous gardens and parks designed in Switzerland in the 20th century. The show illustrates and documents the catalytic function of the Japanese model using evidence from the archive for landscape architecture in Rapperswil and the archive of the Institute of History and Theory of Architecture at ETH Zurich.

It is based on the publication of the same name published by Birkhäuser, which will also be launched this evening.

Parallels between Switzerland and the land of the rising sun are discussed: the connotation as paradise, the garden design training, the relationship between garden and house, the spatial fragmentation, the influence from outside.

The development of the phenomenon is illustrated on the one hand using the Zurich horticultural exhibition in 1933, the state exhibition in 1939, the G59 and Grün 80. On the other hand, relevant projects from design offices are portrayed, whose legacies emerged as the most productive sources when consulting countless plans, drawings and photographs.

Scenographically, the exhibition revolves around iconic elements of Japanese garden art: the water and its symbolic reproduction in the form of gravel landscapes, the moon observation platform, the stepping stones crossing the ponds, the solitary trees such as Japanese maple and ornamental cherry and the art of bonsai.

Opening on Wednesday, May 15th at 7 p.m

Welcome and introduction to the exhibition:
Dr. phil. Rahel Hartmann Schweizer, author and curator; Lorenz Eugster, board member of the Architekturforum Zurich and Rolandüger, conception of the exhibition