S AM (Swiss Architecture Museum) is the leading institution in the mediation of contemporary architecture in Switzerland, for past 35 years and counting. Centrally located and in the immediate vicinity of numerous other cultural institutions, S AM invigorates and shapes Switzerland’s architectural discourse with its rich programme, and seeks to bridge the gap between professional rhetoric and the wider public.
S AM specialises in temporary exhibitions, presenting an average of four shows each year. S AM’s key programme orientations are ‘history and present days in Switzerland’ and ‘learning from…’ and have recently presented surveys of contemporary architecture in Bangladesh or Switzerland, and transversal forays into urbanism and architecture, such as the current trend of reclaiming rivers and lakes in European cities, or the investigation of the hidden mechanisms of the architectural act.
S AM appeals to professionals (architects, engineers and planners), but also, primarily, to a broad audience with an interest in architecture. In addition to the exhibitions, S AM also fulfils its function as a specialist platform for exchange and networking, reflecting on and supplementing its exhibitions by means of guided tours, panel discussions, talks, workshops, and work presentations. Through an editorial partnership with Christoph Merian Verlag, S AM is able to publish rich catalogues that offer in-depth perspectives in the curatorial research and transdisciplinary frames of reference that extend beyond the exhibitions.
Being situated in Basel is no coincidence, as the city has developed to become the centre of Swiss architectural discourse and is nicknamed the ‘cultural capital of Switzerland’ with almost forty museums and numerous artworks in public spaces. As one of the most important European architectural centres, Basel has an abundance of outstanding classic modernist and contemporary structures. The city’s unique location, right on the border with Germany and France, facilitates cross-border connections and international exchange.
These exhibitions are currently available in Materialise: