Museum am Platzspitz

Jozef Merx

Museums are always reflections of the societies that build them. For this reason, the Platzspitz has been a centre of debate about Swiss identity for the past 140 years. Shortly after the foundation of the Swiss nation state, the Landesausstellung (1883) offered visitors a vision of a modern, industrialized country that was strong through diversity. The Landesmuseum (1898) presented Switzerland as a nation rooted in history, tracing its origins back to the neolithic and praising the achievements of Swiss artisans.
Today, Switzerland has become a migratory country. The complexities of migration and cultural exchange, still only play marginal roles in museums. This is very similar to the current situation of immigrants in society: they are expected to assimilate as quickly as possible and there is little space for expression of their culture. Part of the problem for museums is also that many immigrants do not feel welcome in museums. A new type of museum is needed.
The Museum am Platzspitz is dedicated to immigration society and offers an opportunity to present ideas, customs and crafts of immigrants to a wider audience, especially second and third generation immigrants, who have grown up in Switzerland. Adding this museum to the current national museum is a logical step, as this is the public institution that deals with Swiss culture and history in the most direct way. The Platzspitzpark is a public space that is already used by a wide range of groups today. Adding pavilions with free entry and filled with an interactive programming provides a low threshold access.


Julien Lafontaine Carboni, Angelika Hinterbrandner, Mariam Issoufou, Soukaina Laabida, Tobia Rapelli, Filippo Santoni