Architektur Farbe Licht. Die Kunst von Benno K. Zehnder im Spital Schwyz


Benno K. Zehnder

Editor: Krankenhausgesellschaft Schwyz
Year: 2018
Format: Publication; 192 pages, 31 × 23 cm, hardcover, dust jacket, thread stitching
Text: Thomas Aeschmann, Anselm Burr, Gabriela Christen, Dieter Geissbühler, Silvia Henke, Erwin Koch, Jürg Krummenacher, Kerstin Moeller, Alfred Sutter, Benno K. Zehnder
Language: German
Design: Anne Hoffman Graphic Design (Anne Hoffmann, Jörg Schwertfeger)
ISBN: 978-3-907112-04-5
Price: CHF 58.00

This art book documents the long process of the colour concept that Benno K. Zehnder developed for the Schwyz Hospital, from the planning all the way to the implementation. It was created in collaboration with architect Alfred Suter of BSS Architects from 2002 to 2018 as part of a hospital renovation and expansion project. Although he was initially only commissioned to select the colour scheme for a doctor's corridor, Zehnder's concept was so convincing that he was commissioned to design the entire hospital. His intention was to show the hospital as a place where life is present in its most extreme forms (coming into being, being, passing away).

The fact that he succeeded in doing so is confirmed by the writer and journalist Erwin Koch in his text for the publication: "He remarked how he had been in the Schwyz Hospital several times and felt strangely at ease there, even though nobody likes going to hospital. And, for a long time, he didn't realise why. That was until, walking through a corridor lit only by a thin rail of artificial light, he noticed the colours that enlivened the hallway: quiet, invigorating colours – yellows, greens, pinks – each one basking in the reflection of the other."

In addition to Koch, other authors from the fields of architecture and contribute texts, illustrating what makes this art project so unique. Photographer Seraina Wirz was tasked with photographing the coloured areas in corridor and stairwells in way that would convey an impression of the impressive work in book format; she fulfilled this task by taking pictures, which themselves became works of art.