HOME / Projects / Work in Progress / 2019 | Switzerland | Geneva | Saint-Pierre Cathedral

2019 | Switzerland | Geneva | Saint-Pierre Cathedral

In the 12th century, the first prince-bishop of Geneva, Arducius de Faucigny, began construction of the current Romanesque-Gothic cathedral— which would take over a century to build, from 1150 to 1250. From June 1535, the cathedral followed the precepts of the Protestant Reformation.
Throughout the centuries, however, the cathedral has not only been a place of worship. In particular, it performed civil functions — even becoming the Temple of Law during the Geneva Revolution — and today hosts the swearing in of the government of the Republic.

The building has a strong presence in the urban landscape. Visible from the lake and from the lower city, it is a sign of recognition and orientation, contributing to the vertical image of the city and creating a dialogue with the very high water jet fountain. Geneva is a strong and austere city, dominated by the color of the stone, overlooking the blue lake and the green gardens on the waterfront, natural oases of color. At night, the cathedral must be part of the general landscape, appearing with moderation in the setting, while maintaining the strong image and the predominant role it plays during the day.

With uniform illuminance levels, the lighting project will evoke the light of the full moon. The projectors will be installed on the roofs of nearby buildings. In addition to not covering the building with equipment, this design decision will allow us to create even lighting.

The technology currently available enables the intensity of the light to be controlled and the electricity supply to be reduced late at night. This weakens the illuminance levels without jeopardizing the strong predominant presence of the cathedral in the urban setting.

The system will include devices that produce dynamic colored light, which can be used during festivities, anniversaries, and special ceremonies and signal the presence of events to the surrounding territory.

Team members:
Ruffieux-Chehab Architects

Photo courtesy:
Piero Castiglioni Architect

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