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Music & art
Cabaret Voltaire

The Dada movement disseminated its anti-war manifesto from this eccentric cafe-cum-cabaret during the First World War, as young avant-garde thinkers congregated in politically neutral Switzerland. Although Cabaret Voltaire today acts as an archive of the provocative ideologies formulated within its four walls, Dadaism remains its modus operandi; actively explored rather than passively memorialised. Writing sessions, workshops, performances and exhibitions take place in a creative space that is open to the small hours and feels neither like a cultural centre nor a club, subverting categorisation in a typical Dadaist manner. A smart selection of magazines and artist publications offers subject-specific material to complement everything that the establishment once stood for – and indeed still does.

Pavillon Le Corbusier

Given his penchant for self-promotion, it’s fitting that Le Corbusier’s swansong was a quirky monument in homage to the modernist master himself. The Swiss-French architect’s only building constructed entirely of steel and glass shows an appreciation for geometric grids and mathematical forms, while reflecting his meticulous eye for dimensions. The domestic building was completed posthumously in 1967 by Heidi Weber, an art collector and distributor of the seminal architect’s work. Ever a proponent of functionality, Le Corbusier’s Mondrian-esque colour palette saw radiators painted red, electricity carriers painted yellow and water pipes blue. Open annually from May until November, this year the Pavillion hosts the work of Hungarian photographer Lucien Hervé, who was a close collaborator of Le Corbusier and a diligent documenter of his architecture. The exhibition, Built Light, is both a tribute to the late great architect and a testament to his iconic body of work.


Pavillon Le Corbusier


Inside the Pavillon Le Corbusier

Edition VFO

Wander down Zürich’s Limmatstrasse into the city’s creative quarter and you’ll find one of the world’s leading advocates for printmaking and editioned artworks. Edition VFO is a gallery, publisher and arts institute that was founded in 1948 and now housed in Löwenbräukunst-Areal, an arts complex shared with esteemed names from Hauser & Wirth to Edition Patrick Frey. Edition VFO also places the tried-and-tested techniques of printmaking at the heart of its mission. “With the advent of digital printing, traditional techniques suffered and there was an erosion of communities centred around the craft,” says the institution’s managing director, David Khalat. “Our job is to show that they are vital to enriching contemporary art.”


Limited prints at Edition VFO

Kunsthaus Zürich

Switzerland’s largest art museum was opened in 1910. After a series of extensions to cater for its growing collection, a new modernist wing shaped like an airy cuboid was added by David Chipperfield Architects in 2021. Alongside temporary exhibitions, Kunsthaus Zürich displays highlights from a permanent collection of art that stretches from the Middle Ages to the present day. Swiss artists mingle with international names, as Alberto Giacometti’s stringy sculptures and Ferdinand Hodler’s poignant portraits take centre stage.

Kunsthaus Zürich, a temple of modern art

Landesmuseum Zürich

The Zürich branch of the Swiss National Museum is not to be missed for any visitor to the city. Located in the Altstadt district next to the Hauptbahnhof at the meeting point of the Limmat and Sihl rivers, the museum displays an impressive collection of historic artefacts that showcase the history of Switzerland, as well as Swiss culture and identity, from the middle ages to the 20th century. Constructed in 1891, the building was designed by Zürich architect Gustav Gull with the idea of combining elements of local architectural styles in a centre for artistic and scientific research. Today it remains an important monument to period details and houses exhibition halls, a library, an auditorium and the esteemed Spitz restaurant, ideal for a pre- or post-visit meal.


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