Pisé – From Lyon to St. Gallen

August 21, 2017 to October 15, 2017

Pisé is the French term for rammed earth, a building technique in which earth-moist, loamy-gravelly material is compacted by ramming and then built up. As of the seventeenth century, this technique also found its way from the Rhône-Alpes region to Eastern Switzerland via the linen and cotton trade and became part of a building culture that remains little known until today.
The exhibition «Pisé—From Lyon to St. Gallen» recalls the European history of rammed earth construction as well as the advantages of the raw material, which is available in many places. Large-format architectural photographs and an extensive brochure document the aesthetic and technical aspects of the regional tradition of building with rammed earth. In addition, various architectural models and material samples make reference to the summer school, which is taking place in parallel to the exhibition, from August 21 to September 2.

Within the framework of a guest professorship at the EPF Lausanne, the architect Roger Boltshauser presented the students with the task of designing a versatile rammed earth structure for the Sitterwerk and, in the process, testing and further developing the potential of brick earth in combination with other materials with respect to industrial pre-production. Based on a selected design, starting in the middle of August, a section of wall will be realized in a 1:1 ratio to serve as a preliminary study for the planned realization of the entire building. The building site directly behind the material archive can be viewed during and after the duration of the exhibition and provides direct insights into conventional and new possibilities for dealing with brick earth as a building material.
The exhibition and summer school will be accompanied by lectures on sustainable and energy-efficient construction using the Pisé technique as well as guided tours:


August 20, 3:30 to 6:00 p.m.
Exhibition opening
4:00 p.m.: Introduction by Roger Boltshauser
Followed by aperitifs 

August 23, 7:00 p.m. 

Lecture by Martin Rauch, Lehm Ton Erde Baukunst GmbH Gebaute Erde 

August 30, 6:30 p.m. 

Lecture by Prof. Dr. Guillaume Habert, ETH Zurich, (Eng.) Building with What We Have under Our Cities and Felix Hilgert, Boltshauser Architekten, (Eng.) Excavation Material as the New Building Resource for Zurich

September 9, 8:30 p.m.
St. Gallen Museum Night (admission required)

Tour of the exhibition and building site visit with Marlène Witry and Janina Flückiger, Boltshauser Architekten

October 1, 2:00 to 3:30 p.m.
Tour of the Exhibition
Event on the occasion of the 10-year anniversary of the Material Archive with contributions by Roger Boltshauser and Dr. Katja Burzer, Materialsammlung ETH Zurich
Followed by aperitifs 

October 3, starting at 6:00 p.m.
Open Studio
Guest artist Ueli Torgler gives a tour of his clay garden

The exhibition «Pisé—From Lyon to St. Gallen» was curated by Roger Boltshauser in cooperation with Marlène Witry and Janina Flückiger. It was produced by Cyril Veillon and his team at Archizoom at the EPFL Lausanne. The adaption for the Material Archive was developed in cooperation with the Sitterwerk. Büro 146 is responsible for the graphic design.

With the kind support of: 
Hans und Wilma Stutz Stiftung, Ikea Stiftung, Metrohm Stiftung
Abvent, Anliker AG Bauunternehmung, Archizoom EPFL, Atelier Timur Ersen, Basler & Hofmann AG, Condecta, Conzett Bronzini Partner AG, Doka Schweiz AG, Empa, Erne AG Holzbau, Flury + Furrer Architekten, Keller AG Ziegeleien, Kibag AG, Kohler Druckluft, Kunstgiesserei St. Gallen AG, Lehm Ton Erde Baukunst GmbH, Makro Art, Morant AG, Morscher AG, Roth Gerüste AG, Rubag, Stahlton AG, Terrabloc, Toggenburger + Co AG

Image: Philip Heckhausen