gta Archive

Christian Winterhalter, Traditional architectural style in the Asir region, Saudi Arabia, c. 1978

The gta Institute is celebrating its fiftieth anniversary this year, meaning that the gta Archives, which serve as the Institute's historical memory, is also currently in particular demand it its own intrinsic terms in that it is being used in numerous ways in connection with the jubilee programme, which culminate in an exhibition on the history of the Institute and also in various collaborative exhibitions. These include the exhibitions »Reaper: Richard Hamilton and Sigfried Giedion« at the Graphics Collection of the ETH in Zurich, and »Carpet Bed and Promenade: The Zurich Landscape Gardener and Market Gardener Froebel« in the City of Zurich’s Architectural History Archive, both largely based on holdings in the gta Archives and NSL Archive. Another international collaborative project was the anniversary conference on CIAM X, held in the autumn of 2016 in Dubrovnik, which served as the starting-point for a longer-term research project.

The publication of »Trix und Robert Haussmann. Kultur der Formgebung« completed a long-term, archive-based book and research project paying comprehensive tribute to two outstanding personalities on the Swiss architectural and design scene. Work is continuing on a monograph on Jacques Schader and on a publication concerned with the art historians Carola Giedion-Welcker and Sigfried Giedion, who exercised a tremendous influence on modern art and architecture from their home in Zurich’s Doldertal.

Two recent acquisitions are particularly worthy of mention. The renowned Zurich architectural photographer Heinrich Helfenstein has donated his work as an advance legacy to the gta Archives. The posthumous papers of Willy Boesiger, donated by his heirs, represent a substantial addition to the Archives' already extensive holdings on Le Corbusier. On behalf of the Girsberger publishing house in Zurich, Boesiger was responsible for all but one of the volumes of the »Oeuvre complète« of Le Corbusier and Pierre Jeannert, and he later also edited the complete works of Richard Neutra in three volumes. Along with the Corbusiana, the donation also includes extensive materials on Boesiger’s own distinguished architectural work. The strict criteria for accession that apply today have also allowed the inclusion of smaller but no less important holdings. For example, the gta Archives have acquired the research documents and writings of the pioneer of solar architecture, Pierre R. Sabady; and from Dr. Christian Winterhalter it has received architectural photographs of traditional Saudi Arabian residential and religious buildings that formed the basis for his pioneering dissertation at the ETH in Zurich in 1980.