20.11.2021 - 24.04.2022



Opening: 19/11/2021, 7 PM

Vilified by some, adored by others – one thing is certain: concrete is everywhere. But what do we actually talk about when we talk about this divisive material? From fluid to solid, hidden to exposed, component to monolith – concrete is something with many forms and transformations, as many associations as applications.

Today, concrete is the most widely used building material on earth. Yet increasing awareness of its significant ecological impact has made clear that the status quo of building in concrete is no longer tenable. As long-standing arguments in favor of the material are being put into question, what better moment than now to venture a closer look at what concrete is and has been, so as to start imagining what it still could be?

This exhibition presents nine ways of understanding concrete, bringing together, among others, original drawings, models, and photographs from the three main architecture archives in Switzerland in order to illuminate this complex and critical material. The historical scope of the exhibition is complemented by the public events program, which focuses on the use of this material today and opens the discussion on its possible futures.

A coproduction by S AM, gta Archiv / ETH Zürich, Archives de la construction moderne / EPF Lausanne, Archivio del Moderno dell’Academia di Architettura / USI

Artistic Direction: Andreas Ruby
Scientific Direction: Sarah Nichols
Curatorial Team: Sarah Nichols, Yuma Shinohara, Andreas Kofler
Szenography: Graber & Steiger Architekten



Supporters «Beton»:

Exhibition Partners:
gta Archiv / ETH Zürich
Archives de la construction moderne / EPF Lausanne
Archivio del Moderno dell’Academia di Architettura / USI

Exhibition Main Sponsor:

Exhibition Supporters:
Sulger Stiftung
Tschopp Holzindustrie AG
Huber Straub AG 
JOSEF MEYER Stahl und Metall AG
atravis GmbH
Büro für Bauökonomie AG

Exhibition Media Partner:

S AM Supporters:
Abteilung Kultur des Kantons Basel-Stadt
Christoph Merian Stiftung

S AM Sponsor:
ComputerWorks AG

S AM Partners:
Levante Software
Karl Bubenhofer AG
Gremper AG

S AM Media Partner:

Accompanying Programme

19/11/2021, 7 PM
Public Opening with speeches by Andreas Ruby (Director S AM), Sarah Nichols (Scientific Curator) and Representatives of the Collection Cooperation

25/11/2021 (E), 13/1/ (D), 3/2/ (F), 17/3/ (I),  6 PM
Guided tours through the exhibition
Costs: CHF 12.- / red. CHF 8.-, guided tour free of charge

1/12/2021, 4.15-5.45 PM
The ‘Beton’ exhibition: an introduction for teachers
Registration: education@sam-basel.org

2/12/2021, 7/4/2022, 6 PM
Takeover Tours (guided tours through the exhibition with guests)
2/12/2021: Catherine Gay (GayMenzel)  
7/4/2022: Martin Ostermann (Universität Stuttgart)
Costs: CHF 12.- / red. CHF 8.-, guided tour free of charge

12/12/2021, 11 AM-12.30 PM  
Family Day in the exhibition ‹Beton› 
Costs: adults CHF 12.-, children CHF 5.-

20/1/, 23/3/, 31/3/2022 , 6 PM
Takeover Tours (guided tours through the exhibition with guests)
20/1/: gta Archiv / ETH Zürich with Laurent Stalder
23/3/: Archives de la construction moderne / EPF Lausanne with  Salvatore Aprea
31/3/: Archivio del Moderno dell’ Accademia di Architettura / USI with Nicola Navone
Costs: CHF 12.- / red. CHF 8.-, guided tour free of charge

Canceled and postponed to probably 20.5.2022!
21/1/2022, 18 PM-2 AM
Museum Night: ‹Concrete Laboratory›

27/1/2022 (E), 7 PM
Panel Discussion: ‹The Future of Concrete›
With: Edelio Bermejo, Philippe Block, Friederike Kluge, Dirk Hebel, Christine Binswanger
Venue: Foyer Public, Theater Basel
free of charge

9/2/2022, 10 AM-12 PM 
Wednesday-Matinée in the S AM
Costs: CHF 10.-, red. CHF 5.-

23/2/2022, 6 PM
Panel Discussion: ‹Constructive Futures› in collaboration with the Institute of Architecture FHNW 
Venue: Aula, FHNW Campus Muttenz

27/3/2022, 3 PM 
Tandem-Tour: ‹Kultur unter einem Dach›
in the S AM & Kunsthalle Basel

For changes in the program, Covid-19 guidelines, and further information: www.sam-basel.org

Upcoming exhibitions

25.11.2023 - 07.04.2024

What if

Unbuilt Architecture in Switzerland

Opening: 24/11/2023, 7 PM

Lost, rejected, abandoned or altered... There is a vast number of architectural designs that continue to be talked about in Switzerland, even though they have never been built. The S AM takes a look back at them and constructs a utopian-dystopian image of what Switzerland could have been.