- Exhibition against demolitions and waste in construction
A fact that should make us reflect on the big picture, as even so-called ecological buildings contribute to this unfavourable environmental balance and it is no coincidence that here, at Livegreenblog, we have written on more than one occasion that the most sustainable architecture is the one that is not built. The reuse and transformation of pre-existing buildings is, in fact, one of the big themes of today's debate, which is also the focus of the exhibition entitled "Die Schweiz: Ein Abriss" (Switzerland: A demolition), on at the S AM, Schweizer Architekturmuseum - Swiss Museum of Architecture in Basel and curated by Countdown 2030. The Countdown 2030 association founded at the end of 2019 by architects, designers and other professionals in the construction sector, seeks to draw attention, within the industry and beyond, to the importance and urgency of taking action in response to the climate crisis. The "Die Schweiz: Ein Abriss" exhibition, open to visitors from September 3 to October 23, does precisely this.
Because Switzerland's current efforts are not sufficient to achieve the objectives of the Paris Climate Agreement. We need to rapidly rethink our use of natural resources, the treatment of existing buildings and the way we build, aware that 84% of waste in Switzerland consists of building debris. The Swiss demolition culture, in fact, generates more than 500 kg of construction waste per second.
If we want to solve this problem we must start from the preservation, alteration and adaptive reuse of existing buildings. "Demolition and replacement construction ought to be averted whenever possible and must no longer be the first and seemingly best option. When buildings are demolished, losses occur at various levels: for one thing, the embodied energy they represent and the material resources used are lost, and, for another, the historic building culture and the social networks vanish", the curators write in their press note.
In the exhibition and in the rich programme of collateral events, four aspects of demolition are examined: (1) the enormous quantity of demolition activity, (2) the urgency in terms of resources, climate and society, (3) laws and standards that encourage demolitions and (4) the flow of money and the motivation behind demolition. An atlas of demolition in Switzerland, with the various information presented, forms the basis of the exhibition.
At the museum, a countdown clock indicates how much time we have until 2030, the goal set by the UN Agenda, while the "Enough with the Demolition Madness – Sustainable Building Now" petition is directed at the Swiss Federal Council and Parliament. The beauty is that the petition can be signed by all visitors to the exhibition, regardless of their nationality, age or place of residence, because the world is one and it is all interconnected! Effective and urgent action therefore always has an impact on our entire planet – and not demolishing is definitely one such example.
"Die Schweiz: Ein Abriss" Exhibition
curated by Countdown 2030, on from September 3 to October 23, 2022
Location: S AM, Basel, Switzerland
Images: © Leon Faust / Countdown 2030, Tom Bisig
Find out more: https://www.sam-basel.org/, www.countdown2030.ch