Building culture encompasses the structural environment, such as architecture, cities and villages, but also the spaces in between like public squares, gardens and cultural landscapes. It relates to the past, present and future. In order for as many people as possible to participate in the design of our living space, and to take proper care and develop it sustainably, building culture education is urgently needed.
With the Swiss Heritage Center at the Villa Patumbah, building culture education and outreach has an integral place within the activities of the Swiss Heritage Society. Our aim is to look and perceive together, to become immersed, discuss and debate. We present exhibitions and offer guided visits, experience-oriented theatre tours and workshops for children and adults on the subject of building culture. A special attraction is the Villa Patumbah itself as an exceptional architectural monument.
The idea of an education centre for the Swiss Heritage Society dates back to 1999. The proceeds from the 2005 “Schoggitaler” chocolate medallion campaign for the 100th anniversary of the Swiss Heritage Society helped the project achieve its breakthrough. After a nationwide search for a suitable listed building, the rental contract was signed with the Patumbah Foundation and the centre opened in 2013.
The activities of the Swiss Heritage Center are funded by the Swiss Heritage Society. The Federal Office of Culture and the Canton and City of Zurich also contribute to its operation. The Friends of Villa Patumbah Club provides an additional source of funding. For special exhibitions as well as project-related educational and outreach activities, we rely on funds from third parties.