EXPO.02 - Forum Arteplage


Biel, Biel

Schweizerische Landesausstellung Neuenburg, Switzerland


Expo 2017 Astana European Central Bank (ECB)


  • 2001


  • 1999

    Start of Planning

  • 2000

    Start of Construction

  • 2002


Project Description

The Towers of Biel and Open Architecture:
The Power and the Freedom

The towers are visible as giant signs by day and experienced as sculptures of sound and light by night, thus emphasizing the vivacious transistor-like character of the Expo.02

Towers have always been regarded as signs of power and symbols of freedom. They are also architectural archetypes, erotic signals of the human desire to be the "monarch of all I survey" – as shown in the parable of the Tower of Babel.

The design concept for the Expo.02 was orientated on the strategies of urban construction, in order to create outstanding points of reference for further developments. All functional preconditions were integrated into a master plan of urban planning, thus enabling the designers to react to any changes in a flexible way.

The site of the great exhibition has been conceived as a roofed platform jutting out over the lake, ending in a space with three towers. Its resemblance to an aircraft carrier is not a matter of coincidence but fully intended. Underneath the roof the platform is available to all kinds of utilization and gives room to the exhibition pavilions – just like the buildings of a town.


  • 14 000 m² Gross Floor Area
  • 14 200 m² Usable Area
  • 200 x 65 m Dimension of Platform
  • 303 x 77 m Dimension of Roof
  • 413 m Lengt of Bridge




COOP HIMMELB(L)AU Wolf D. Prix, Helmut Swiczinsky + Partner
Principal in Charge: Wolf D. Prix
Project Partner: Michael Volk
Project Architect: Paul Kath
Project Coordination: G. Ludwig Rieder
Design Architect: Marc Paulin
Project Team: Wolfgang Leitgeb, Sigrid Steinwender


Structural Engineering: SJB. Partner AG
Ingenieurbüro für Hoch- und Tiefbau, Herisau, Switzerland
Mechanical Engineering: IBE Consulting Engineers, Los Angeles, USA
Lighting Design: Yann Kersalé, Vincennes, France
Execution Of Work: HRS, Hauser Rutishauser Suter AG, Kreuzlingen, Switzerland


Built Unbuilt

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