28.08. - 31.10.2021


In architecture, a ‘mock-up’ refers to a demonstration model that reproduces a fragment of a building in full size, using the same materials as the eventual finished product. These models help to better understand the detailing of a building before actual construction begins. But what if mock-ups are not understood as merely by-products of architecture, but as artefacts in their own right, in possession of an experimental or even poetic potential that goes beyond their purely technical function? 

The exhibition features the photographic series ‘Archetypes’ by the Canadian photographer David K. Ross. The images are complemented by contributions from Herzog & de Meuron, Staufer & Hasler Architects, iart, NEST / Gramazio Kohler Architects, baubüro in situ & Zirkular, Manuel Herz Architects, and 51N4E/NEWROPE, who tap into the possibilities of mock-ups in very different ways.

‘Mock-Up’ is not limited to the exhibition spaces. The S AM has compiled a map of recent mock-up sightings with the help of numerous ‘spotters’.

Image 1: Atelier Abraha Achermann, Erlenmatt Ost, Basel, 2018 © David K. Ross
Image 2: Material tests with carpet tiles, baubüro in-situ / Zirkular, 2021
Image 3: Tambacounda Mock-Up, Manuel Herz, Senegal, 2018. Photo: Magueye Ba
Image 4: Performative mock-up, Newrope. Photo: Elias Knecht



Supporters «Mock-Up»:

Exhibition Supporters:
Sulger Stiftung
W. Grieder AG, Sissach

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

S AM Sponsors:
ComputerWorks AG
Zumtobel Licht AG
Gremper AG

S AM Partners:
Levante Software
Karl Bubenhofer AG

S AM Media Partner:

Accompanying Programme

27/8/2021, 7 PM
Public Opening: Short guided tours
7 PM / 7:30 PM / 8 PM / 8:30 PM / 9 PM / 9:30 PM
Please register for one of the following times by sending an email to event@sam-basel.org with the respective time mentioned in the subject line.

29/8/2021, 3 PM & 30/9/2021, 6 PM
Public guided tour ‘Culture Under One Roof’
S AM & Kunsthalle Basel
Admission: CHF 12.- / red. CHF 8.-

1/9/2021, 6 PM
The ‘Mock-Up’ exhibition: an introduction for teachers
Registration: education@sam-basel.org

2/9/ (DE) & 23/9/ (EN), 6 PM
Public guided tour through the exhibition ‘Mock-Up’
Admission: CHF 12.- / red. CHF 8.-, guided tour free of charge

8/9/2021, 6 PM
Urban development forum ‘Basel 2050’
Panel discussion XII ‘How green can a city be’?
A coproduction of S AM and the Bureau for Urban Development and Architecture of the Canton Basel-City Construction and Transport Department in the Foyer Public of the Theater Basel

With: landscape architect Marie-Noëlle Adolph of Meilen; climatologist Stefan Brönnimann of Bern; architect Roger Diener of Basel; school pupil and climate activist Benjamin Rytz of Basel; and Emanuel Trueb, Canton Basel-City’s Head of City Gardens
Moderation: Andreas Ruby and Beat Aeberhard

Venue: Foyer Public at Theater Basel
Admission: free 

24/10/2021, 11 AM - 4 PM
Family Day at S AM & Kunsthalle Basel

Mock-Up Day
Organised tour of:
Oceanarium mock-up: Boltshauser Architekten, Zoo Basel
Performative mock-ups: NEWROPE (ETH Zurich)
NEST: Gramazio Kohler Architects, Dübendorf
ZHAW Workpiece Hall: Including expert talks with Markus Peter and Michael Eidenbenz, Winterthur
Costs: CHF 40.- (red. CHF 30.-)

Pre-registration is mandatory for all events: event@sam-basel.org!
For changes in the programme due to the coronavirus and further
information, please see our website.


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.