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Switzerland - Expo Brussels 1935

Switzerland at the Exhibition Expo Brussels 1935
© L'Epi
Architect(s) : Hoffman

The Swiss Pavilion, designed by the architect Hoffman, from Zurich, assisted by Mr. Cala-me, from Brussels, was built on the Avenue de Meysse, not far from the Palais de la France d'Outre-Mer. It was a vast construction of iron and glass, composed of a series of pavilions connected by galleries. They were surrounded by flower gardens and a rose garden, crossed by a stream sown with large stones, which gave the setting a characteristic and charming aspect.

The ensemble was dominated by a clock of great size, supported by an aluminium turret fourteen metres high; a master clock, placed in a pavilion, controlled the movement of this unusual piece. Special foundations supported this small monument, which had to be built in such a way as to enable it to withstand the wind.

The first pavilion, devoted to clock-making, contained the submissions of twenty-one manufacturers. It was elegantly decorated in red on a beige background. Along the walls, showcases contained precision watches, clocks, watches and special clocks for ships. At the back, raised a few degrees, glass cabinets contained a small museum of priceless jewellery, the oldest dating back to the beginning of the 17th century; many of these objects were decorated with miniatures, precious stones, inlays; some of these watches were also snuffboxes, some marked the time with the same movement that animated tiny automata.

Then, we walked along a gallery whose walls were covered with stylised images evoking the natural beauty of Switzerland and its folk traditions.

Each of the compartments in the Swiss Section also cooperated in a skilful way with tourist propaganda.
The machinery pavilion displayed everything that Switzerland produced in this field: pipes, insulating materials, washing machines, optical and surveying equipment, typewriters, electrical equipment, gears and mechanics of all kinds, knitting machines in action...

In a third pavilion, devoted to textiles, four-metre high showcases displayed all that Switzerland has to offer for women's coquetries: cotton, wool and silk fabrics; embroidery and lace of a very sure taste; felted fabrics, furnishing fabrics, knitted wools, mountain or sportswear - another "speciality". This ensemble was enhanced by the exhibition of some ceramic pieces, very beautiful in their lines and tones.

Finally, a restaurant where one could taste cheeses, dried meats, wines, chestnuts, dairy preparations; a projection room and a cinema completed a particularly complete and varied ensemble. In the cinema, the screenings were accompanied by music and songs performed by Swiss artists, including "yodellers".

© Le Livre d'Or de l'Exposition Universelle de Bruxelles 1935