Brasilia in Biel/Bienne
The Palais des Congrès reflects the technocratic and industrial postwar approach adopted by a group of young architects based in the southern Jura foothills. Known as the ‘Solothurn School’, the group included Max Schlup, Fritz Haller, Hans Zaugg, Franz Füegg and Alfons Barth. Though they all worked independently, each of them happened to be huge fans of Mies van der Rohe, prefabrication and modular systems. Their materials of choice were glass, steel and concrete. The group’s signature steelframe constructions shaped Switzerland’s postwar architecture. But ultimately it was not architecture that produced the most enduring impact, but Fritz Haller’s modular furnishings. Better known as USM Haller they remain the gold standard in Swiss offices and companies.