Swiss Positions Lecture Series

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byCassie Cheng

To complement the exhibit Swiss Positions: 33 Takes on Sustainable Approaches to Building, the Swiss Embassy is presenting a series of Saturday afternoon lectures on topics such as architecture, construction, and sustainable development in the Philippines and Switzerland.

The lectures are held on Saturday afternoon from 3:00 to 5:00 p.m. Talks are free with museum admission.

November 17

Swiss Architectural Production

By Sacha Cotture and Jean-Claude Girard

In this lecture, Sacha Cotture will provide an overview of Switzerland’s best known architects and teachers, as well as a glimpse of the contemporary wave of young architects. He will also talk briefly about the demographics of Swiss architects, the architecture curriculum and educational system, and architectural competitions.  Cotture’s lecture will be capped off by a presentation of foreign architects in Switzerland. Jean-Claude Girard will then present a few of his recent projects that draw a line between contemporary architecture and sustainable development.

About Sacha Cotture and Jean-Claude Girard

Sacha Cotture is a Swiss architect and the principal of Atelier Sacha Cotture. After pursuing his architectural studies in Fribourg, Switzerland, Sacha worked in Switzerland and then in Hong Kong for several years in a large international practice. His expertise in master planning, architecture, and interior design was gained from working located in Switzerland, India, China, and the Middle East. Sacha divides his time between Switzerland and the Philippines.

Having completed his architectural degree at the prestigious Federal Polytechnical Institute in Lausanne (EPFL) in 1998, Jean-Claude Girard worked for Renato Salvi—whose work is exhibited in Swiss Positions—before opening his own practice in 2007. Since then, he has primarily focused on private home designs and constructions in Switzerland, but also in very different contexts, such as Ireland and Armenia.

November 24

Planning, Constructing, and Maintaining a Beach Resort in Paradise: Experiences of a Swiss Architect

By Marcel Brunner and Michael Canares

Marcel Brunner will share his personal experiences in putting up a beach resort in Bohol, from working with the existing infrastructure and creating the resort concept in 1996 to sustainably constructing the resort. Michael Canares will then talk about the maintenance and operations of the resort, and cite the problems of a fast-growing tourism area such as Bohol.

About Marcel Brunner and Michael Canares

Born in 1945, Swiss architect Marcel Brunner studied architecture in Lucerne. For 19 years, Brunner worked for the architecture office Brunner & Brusa in Oberwil and Zug, Switzerland before migrating to the Philippines in 1996.

Michael Canares is a graduate of law and accountancy, and pursued a Masters degree in development studies at the London School of Economics. He has worked at the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, and in research projects funded by the Ford Foundation, the United Nations Development Program, the Asia Foundation, the United States Agency for International Development, World Vision, and Feed the Children, among others. Canares also has a significant amount of collaborations with local government units (LGUs) and special planning bodies, and is holding an advisory position to ten LGUs in the Philippines. Currently, he is the Monitoring and Evaluation Coordinator of the Provincial Road Management Facility, a program funded by the Australian Agency for International Development. Canares is also a scholar who analyzes issues in Bohol, presenting them in his blog

December 1

Rethinking the Way We Build

By Edward Schwarz

Sponsored by the Holcim Foundation for Sustainable Construction

The global community stands before a great challenge: to reorient itself economically, ecologically, and socially. This process includes construction: the way we build must be aligned with principles of sustainable development. For future generations to be in the position to meet their needs, the traditional approaches to designing, constructing, and using buildings and structures must change significantly. Optimizing individual components is no longer sufficient; an integral approach and change are necessary in every phase of the life cycle of buildings.

About Edward Schwarz

Edward Schwarz is the inaugural General Manager of the Holcim Foundation for Sustainable Construction, which was created in 2003. Schwarz was a journalist and worked as the editor of a monthly construction-trade magazine, and later of a daily newspaper covering Zurich. In 1989, he was appointed editor-in-chief of a private radio station in the same region. From 1992, Schwarz was in charge of communications of a building materials holding company which was later integrated into the Holcim Group. In 1994, he became head of communications of the operations of Holcim in Switzerland. In 1999, Schwarz joined the Corporate Communications of the Holcim Group as head of internal and online communications. In addition, he was part of the global Holcim brand implementation team from 2001.

Steps to Sustainability in the Philippines

By Miguel Guerrero

Sponsored by the Holcim Foundation for Sustainable Construction

With the introduction of sustainable development in our country, interest and awareness is slowly taking root. The urgency is exacerbated by recent natural calamities experienced in our country. Our very survival is now at stake. For sustainable solutions to make an impact, it is necessary that the more people accept and practice them. Sustainability must be brought down to reach the greater majority of Filipinos by promoting green and sustainable solutions that encompass the triple bottom line of people, planet, and profit. We must bring sustainability to the lowest level of society, the barangay.

About Miguel Guerrero

Miguel Guerrero is a member of the College of Fellows of the United Architects of the Philippines (UAP) and one of the first 12 Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Architects in the Philippines. He has also joined the American Institute of Architects (AIA). Green architecture is his advocacy, and he is the President of Green Architecture Advocacy Philippines (GreenAP), a civic organization that promotes Green Architecture and Sustainability to all sectors of society. Guerrero studied architecture in University of Santo Tomas and has been practicing for 36 years. In 1985, he set up an architectural partnership called Asian Architects. From 1987 to 1989, he worked as a design architect for Wong Tung and Partners in Hong Kong. Guerrero is currently the Managing Partner of Asian Architects.

About the Holcim Foundation for Swiss Sustainable Construction

The Swiss-based Holcim Foundation for Sustainable Construction encourages and promotes forward-looking approaches to construction mainly through its international competitions for sustainable construction projects and visions. Hear more about the winning projects of the previous cycle of the USD 2 million Holcim Awards competition.


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