8 July

The Swiss competition – a culture of architecture

A virtual exhibition presents Swiss architecture competition as a powerful […]

A virtual exhibition presents Swiss architecture competition as a powerful democratic tool 


Architecture competitions in Switzerland are worldwide known for its outstanding approach to public procurement and for the resulting quality of the works. A source of inspiration for other countries, the practice has been fundamental for the evolution of reflections on the built environment and has a big influence on the quality of cities and their daily lives. 

At UIA2021RIO, an exhibition will highlight architecture competitions as a democratic tool. It´s an initiative of the Association Le Concours Suisse (www.leconcourssuisse.ch). 

Curator of the exhibition, the Brazilian architect based in Switzerland Olivia de Oliveira explains that “a fair competition puts different ideas against each other to tackle the same challenge, with the objective of finding the best project to be built. Source of innovation, this type of open and fair competition allows new talents to emerge. The anonymity principle ensures that the choice of the winning project is based on the quality of the work rather than on the fame of its author”.

More than 50 examples of recent architecture, urban planning and engineering competitions will be presented. Furthermore, an interactive map displays a wide range of information on competitions held in Switzerland in the last years.

This exhibition, beyond showing beautiful projects, shows the different stages of a competition by means of a timeline that explains the 20 essential steps. The various thematic sections include the history and evolution of competitions, the innovation in citizen participation and interviews with different Swiss architects explaining the importance of the competitions for their careers.

Thanks to a tourmake, congress attendees will access all the exhibition content.

Fly over the exibition:



Prohelvetia Coincidencia -Swiss & South American Cultural Exchanges

Presence Suisse


Loterie Romande

SIA Société Suisse des ingénieurs et des architectes

OFCL  Office Fédéral des Constructions et de la Logistique


Institutional partners:

IAB Brazil

27° Congress UIA2021RIO

Consulate General of Switzerland in Rio de Janeiro

Consulate General of Brazil in Geneva


The entrance to the exhibition at the Sicli Pavilion in Geneva, Switzerland


Photos: © Federal studio Régis Golay