Europe has the EU Mies Award – the most important exchange platform for European architecture from Poland to Portugal. Switzerland, which is not an EU member, has so far been excluded from it. Every year, many regions and nations, from Flanders to the Netherlands and through to Germany, proudly display the fruits of their architectural labours.

Thus, despite its outstanding calibre, its widespread competition culture, the relatively high standing of its designing architects, and its many innovative clients, Swiss architecture remains strangely unnoticed, in the shadows.

In addition within Switzerland, there is no regular exchange platform or vehicle for nationwide debates. The regional architecture scenes, notwithstanding the interest they attract, remain largely isolated. This brings diversity and difference – but also a lack of knowledge about what is happening next door and what could be learnt from each other.

The SAY Swiss Architecture Yearbook fills a gap

With SAY 23, or the first time now, Switzerland has its own architecture yearbook. Properly Swiss – in English and three national languages. At last, the high quality of Swiss architecture and building culture will be tangibly showing its face on the international stage as well. In all its diversity. Be it urban or rural. Be it architecture from Ticino, Geneva, Basel, Aargau or Graubünden. From the large-scale pioneering project to the little innovation laboratory. The book, the exhibition and the many accompanying events promote the dialogue throughout Switzerland and increase the visibility of architectural work, across linguistic and national boundaries.

An accompanying travelling exhibition has started on the 8th of September 2023 at the S AM Swiss Architecture Museum. This will promote discussion of the book’s content in Switzerland and abroad, fuelling the debate on Swiss architecture.

That’s what it’s all about

SAY Swiss Architecture Yearbook is more than just a selection of the best. It is a confrontation with the questions that many people are facing after an almost thirty-year construction boom:

  • How do we find sustainable approaches to construction?
  • How can architecture be made compatible with the challenge of climate change?
  • How can top-quality urban density be achieved?
  • How do we preserve and transform our building stock?
  • What can be learnt from construction in Switzerland’s rural regions?
  • What can architecture contribute to the protection and value of landscape?
  • Where are Swiss architects building, worldwide?
  • How does Switzerland’s architecture present itself from a European perspective?

SAY Swiss Architecture Yearbook will be published once every two years in future, thus reflecting the current discourse each time.

About the book

SAY 23 is published by Park Books. Published by S AM Swiss Architecture Museum (Andreas Ruby) and werk, bauen+wohnen (Daniel Kurz) on behalf of the Swiss Architecture Foundation SAS
Editors: Daniel Kurz, Jasmin Kunst, Andreas Ruby
Design: Claudiabasel
in English language
Original contributions in Italian, French or German
304 pages, paperback
Numerous illustrations
Price: 49 CHF / 48 EUR
ISBN: 978-3-03860-339-9