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Embassy of Switzerland in New Delhi
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Ambassador Linus von Castelmur was delighted to host on Saturday, 10th May 2014, the Graduation ceremony of the German School in New Delhi at the Swiss Residence. Seven graduates “Abiturientinnen und Abiturienten” received the Diploma out of whom two were Swiss nationals. The celebration was solemn and all the same cheerful. The official part was followed by a cocktail in the garden where the graduates and the guests could continue to celebrate this important occasion.
The Year of Swiss architecture, design and engineering in India, 2013 – 14, concluded on Friday, 4th April 2014, amidst a 300 odd audience, comprising well known architects, designers, photographers, faculty members of architecture and urban design as well as students. The concluding evening witnessed the launch of the monograph on the Embassy building and its compound, “A Tropical House: The Embassy of Switzerland in New Delhi”. Edited by Bruno Maurer, published by gta Verlag, ETH Zurich, Switzerland.
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Art at the Swiss residence, New Delhi (pdf, 2638 Kb)
The other highlight of the evening was a conversation amongst three acclaimed architects: Prof. Valerio Olgiati, Bijoy Jain and Prof. Erwin Viray. Belonging to different cultures and with a different approach to the practice of the architect, the conversation “Images of architects and praxis”, was opened by Prof. Erwin Viray (Singapore /Japan). He invited both Valerio Olgiati (Switzerland) and Bijoy Jain (India) to share their practice and experience, which necessarily evolves from their socio-cultural roots.
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“Building Images: Photography focusing on Swiss architecture”, is an exhibition featuring 25 years of Swiss architecture, curated by Hubertus Adam and Elena Kossovskaja of the Swiss Architecture Museum in Basel. The exhibition was opened amongst 400 guests at the Embassy of Switzerland in New Delhi on Friday, 21st March 2014.
In addition to this exhibition organised in the framework of the Year of Swiss archtiecture, design and engineering in India, 2013- 2014, the guests of the evening, a majority of them being engineers, designers, architects, students of architecture and urban design, faculty members, art photographers, listened with rapt attention to Indian architect, Rahul Mehrotra, who has designed a laboratory building on the Novartis campus in Basel. Titled “Working in Mumbai”, the emerging role of the architect in the Indian context, Rahul Mehrotra addressed in his presentation several issues about the responsibility of architects towards the socio-economic and cultural environ, his approach to architecture, and his works in the cities of Mumbai, Bangalore, and Hyderabad. The chat with Rahul Mehrotra was moderated by Mrs. Meghal Arya, an architect from Ahmedabad.
Continuing under the theme YSADE 2013-14, the finissage and the concluding event is planned for 4th April 2014.
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Soirée littéraire, an evening of francophone literary encounters, took place on 12 March 2014 at the Alliance Française de Delhi. The event was jointly presented by the Embassies of Belgium, France/Institut Français en Inde, and Switzerland, as well as by the High Commission of Canada and Pro Helvetia-Swiss Arts Council.
The evening included readings from the original texts by Belgian author François Emmanuel, French author Hédi Kaddour, Swiss author Pascale Kramer and Canadian author Kim Thúy. The event was attended by more than a hundred people.
Swiss author Pascale Kramer gave lectures also in Hyderabad, Chennai, Pondicherry and Chandigarh. Click for more pictures
Ambassador Dr. Linus von Castelmur called on the Bhutanese Prime Minister Mr. Tshering Tobgay at the Gyalyong Tshogkhang in Thimpu on November 20, 2013. During their meeting, both sides evaluated and expressed satisfaction on the status of bilateral relations between the two countries and agreed to consolidate and expand the scope of partnership beyond development cooperation. They agreed to enhance partnerships between Swiss and Bhutanese enterprises in several fields including urban development, energy efficiency in buildings and vocational educational training.
An ‘Open house day’ was organized at the Embassy of Switzerland in New Delhi on Saturday, November 16, 2013. It is the first time that the chancery and residence of the Ambassador were made available for public view. The day-long event witnessed participation of almost 800 guests. 280 guests enjoyed guided walks through the Embassy premises.
The open house brought down curtains on a week-long programme under the framework of the ‘Year of Swiss architecture, design and engineering 2013-14’. Earlier in the week exhibition ‘Architecture as an open process – Recent works of Bijoy Jain, Studio Mumbai’ was inaugurated at the Embassy premises. This was followed by a symposium ‘Constructing the future’ at India International Center.
Continuing under the theme YSADE 2013-14, more events are planned January 2014 onwards. The celebrations will culminate in April 2014. Click for more pictures
In the framework of the ‘Year of Swiss Architecture, Design and Engineering in India 2013-2014’, a symposium on various aspects of architecture, design and engineering, titled ‘Constructing the future’, was organised in New Delhi on November 13, 14 and 15, 2013. The symposium featured presentations and discussions with experts from Switzerland – like Hubertus Adam, Alfredo Brillembourg, Emanuel Christ, Andrea Deplazes, Matias Echanove, Meret Ernst and Ariel Huber – as well as panelists from India – including Anupam Bansal, Itu Chaudhuri, Puru Das, Ashok B. Lall, Kaiwan Mehta, Zeenat Niazi, Yatin Pandya and Rahul Srivastava. Several engineers from both countries including famous Indian engineer Mahendra Raj, were part of the event. Click for more photographs; Text of Ambassador's opening speech
An exhibition consisting of architectural photos taken by three of Switzerland’s most renowned photographers – Hélène Binet, Enrico Cano and Ariel Huber – as well as of mock-ups, sketches and models presented by Studio Mumbai was inaugurated at the Embassy of Switzerland on November 10, 2013.
Click for more photographs; Text of Ambassador's speech
This exhibition is a part of the larger initiative ‘Year of Swiss architecture, design and engineering in India 2013-14.’
The yearly planning meeting of all the Swiss representations in India took place on October 18, 2013. It gave a platform for all Swiss stake holders and participants in India viz., Swiss Embassy; Consulate Generals in Mumbai, Bangalore, Chennai and Kolkata; Swiss Business Hub India; swissnex India; Pro Helvetia- Swiss Arts Council and Switzerland Tourism to discuss overall organizational objectives and develop a joint work programme for 2014.
Swiss Ambassador Dr. Linus von Castelmur honoured Mr. R.V. Kanoria, Chairman & Managing Director of Kanoria Chemicals & Industries Ltd. with ‘Swiss Ambassador’s Award for leadership and business ethics’ on October 17, 2013 at an event organised at the Embassy of Switzerland in New Delhi. Mr. Kanoria has a long and outstanding relationship with Switzerland. He is an alumnus of IMD in Lausanne. In April 2012, his company Kanoria Chemicals & Industries, acquired the Swiss company APAG Elektronik, which develops, produces and sells measurement and control devices for the automotive, consumer, power tool and automation industries.
Swiss Ambassador’s Award recognizes individuals who have contributed to the promotion of Indo-Swiss bilateral relations or have stood out for their exceptional role in the society and industry. Press Release
Dr Linus von Castelmur, Ambassador of Switzerland to India and Madame Françoise Gardies hosted a lunch at the lawns of the Swiss Residence on 29 September 2013 in honour of the Swiss curator Urs Stahel, who was in India at the invitation of the Delhi Photo Festival 2013 and Pro Helvetia – Swiss Arts Council. Urs Stahel was the Director of the Fotomuseum Winterthur for over two decades and was invited by the festival directorate to give the inaugural talk as well as to review portfolios and have an open interactive session with participants.
To commemorate fifty years of the Swiss Embassy building in New Delhi 'Year of Swiss architecture, design and engineering in India 2013-14' was launched at a press conference on 7th August 2013. For information on activities: YSADE 2013-14
A poster making competition based on the theme India, Switzerland and environment was organized at La Martiniere Schools for Girls, Kolkata. Nine schools participated in this contest. A film about Switzerland was screened on the occasion.
Further to the above an inter-school quiz based on Indo-Swiss friendship and the diverse aspects of Switzerland was organized on 23rd July, 2013. Both projects were coordinated by the Hony. Consulate of Switzerland in Kolkata and the Embassy of Switzerland in India.
A seminar on "Sustainable Architecture: Integrated Approach to Energy-Efficient Building Design" was organized on 23rd July 2013 by the Indo-Swiss Building Energy Efficiency Project (BEEP) under the aegis of “the Year of Swiss Architecture, Design and Engineering in India”. BEEP is a five-year bilateral cooperation project between the Ministry of Power, Government of India and the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs of the Swiss Confederation. The aim of the seminar was to share experiences from applying the concept of integrated design and discuss its importance for designing energy-efficient buildings. About 120 delegates from the building design and construction community including architects, policy makers and students of architecture participated in the seminar. The Ambassador of Switzerland to India and Bhutan, Dr. Linus von Castelmur, in his inaugural address, reiterated the continued interest and commitment of the Swiss government to develop collaborations in the area of sustainable design and architecture so that the building sector in India grows on a more sustainable path.
This project was based on the SCIENCEsuisse exhibition, which showcases 25 outstanding researchers working in Switzerland and their disciplines. Students presented their end products, focusing on their interpretation of the work of the scientist, they have 'selected' to base their project on, and further to an assignment prepared by the Embassy. This phase, which was held at the Embassy, is in continuation to the prelim round, which was held on the 03rd of May. 8 teams (from the 16 prelim teams) entered the final round. App. 35 students and teachers participated with a lot of motivation and enthusiasm.