The exhibition “Unikum” is dedicated to the topic of living, which has become a central focus in the work of Meili, Peter & Partner Architects. To this end, the entire exhibition space is approached as a dwelling. An installation in the middle is equipped with the functional areas of the kitchen, bathroom, and cloakroom, which reach out in different directions, dividing the room into individual areas. This unique space – an “Unikum” – celebrates the qualities of building materials such as steel, wood, and plastic. Pleasurable and playful on the one hand, it is also raw and edgy on the other.
The installation not only invites visitors to discover its diverse shapes, colors, and materials. It also shows that designing a dwelling is more than merely optimizing the arrangement of white walls. It is an explorative examination of the users’ lifestyle in terms of the constructive, functional, and sensual qualities of rooms, furniture, and fittings. In this respect, it is the antithesis to contemporary housing production.
The installation is complemented by wallpaper on the gallery walls, which brings together 110 selected apartment layouts from the history of architecture as well as from the studio’s own projects. Against this intellectual background, the “Unikum” serves as a test arrangement for questions about the influence of new materials on the spatial structure, the possibilities of additive functional units for individualized living, and the hierarchy of functional areas in the context of global services.
Meili, Peter & Partner Architekten was founded in 2016 and is managed by Markus Peter, Patrick Rinderknecht, and Alice Hucker. The office has participated in numerous housing competitions, including a low-cost high-rise apartment building (Zug, 2016), Letzi high-rise apartment building (Zurich, 2016), and Helvetia combined residential and office complex (St. Gallen, 2017). Current projects include Hotel Dolder Waldhaus (Zurich, 2023), Walche municipal office (Zurich, 2022), and the renovation of the Telli housing estate (Aarau, 2022). The exhibition is accompanied by the publications “Meili, Peter & Partner” and “Senn, Sabbatini et al.” with the wallpapered floor plans.