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Building horizons: the 2022 renovation of the Centre culturel suisse in Paris

© Margot Montigny

The architects appointed for the renovation of the Centre culturel suisse (CCS) are Thomas Raynaud (Paris) and Truwant + Rodet + (Basel). The binational team has been selected by a panel of experts following a call for tenders issued by the Federal Office for Buildings and Logistics (FOBL). Building work is scheduled to begin in the summer of 2022, with the refurbished centre to reopen in 2024. During this period, the CCS will be offering an accompanying programme in association with partners across France.

In June 2020, the Federal Office for Buildings and Logistics (FOBL) issued a call for tenders for a multi-objective architecture project: the renovation, transformation and modernisation of the building housing the Centre culturel suisse (CCS) in the heart of the Marais district in Paris. Harmonising and reconfiguring the interiors as well as enhancing visitor-friendliness were also part of the specifications to be met by the candidates, with the project budget totalling CHF 6 million.

The panel of experts, comprising representatives of the FOBL, Pro Helvetia and experts from the fields of architecture and contemporary art, selected a binational, French-Swiss architectural team: Thomas Raynaud (Paris) and Truwant + Rodet + (Basel), winners of the 2017 Swiss Architecture Prize. «We are enthused by the architects’ sensitive and broad-minded approach to opening up the Centre culturel suisse. We are convinced that we are laying the ideal foundations for the future of this unique cultural venue in the heart of Paris», Jean-Marc Diébold and Philippe Bischof, the directors of the CCS and Pro Helvetia, agreed unanimously. «The CCS benefits from a plurality of spaces that are conducive to the diversity of its programming. We are planning to transform the site through a series of localized interventions. Our aim is to redeploy its intrinsic qualities and to enhance its capacities and the flexibility of its uses», the successful candidates declared in a joint statement.

Construction is scheduled to last two years, starting in the summer of 2022, during which the CCS will present an accompanying programme in association with various partners across France. This important phase will serve to make the work of the CCS, and thus Swiss artistic creation, better known in different regions of France.

Founded in 1985, the CCS is part of the Swiss Arts Council Pro Helvetia. The centre aims to promote contemporary Swiss artistic and cultural creation in France through its programming and to encourage exchange between the artistic scenes of the two countries. Its two exhibition rooms, stage and bookshop offer a platform for all artistic fields and space for interdisciplinary creation. Every year, around 20,000 art lovers visit the centre. It employs 14 staff and has an annual budget of CHF 1.8 million.

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Photo: © Margot Montigny