Our planet - our life

Palais de l'Equilibre

The inherent connections of sustainable development

Housed in a wooden sphere towering 27.00 metres above the ground, Palais de l’Equilibre sets out to acquaint visitors with the concept of sustainable development. The future of the human race depends on our ability to establish and maintain a balance between a caring and responsible society, an efficient economy and an intact environment.

Rio de Janeiro, June 1992: the nations participating in the UN Conference on Environment and Development agree to pursue global sustainable development geared to meeting the needs of people today without jeopardizing the prospects for future generations. Ten years later, Palais de l’Equilibre examines this challenge. Inside the building, the way through the exhibition winds gently upwards at first, then a ramp leads the visitor high up around the outside of the wooden globe and back down again, providing magnificent views of the Arteplage, the lake and the Jura mountains.

Exhibits include a disaster scenario as well as some inspiring aerial photographs of our planet, commentaries on the global prerequisites for sustainable development and reports on what has been achieved so far. The message is that sustainability is not something that can be delegated; it requires planning and action by each and every one of us in our daily lives.

The view from the ramp that leads down from the dizzy height of 12.00 metres to the exit gives visitors a chance to reflect on their own possibilities and plans of action. Quite in the spirit of the motto: think globally, act locally.

Author statement

"Sustainable development is a comprehensive, a global concept. In the exhibition, we want to familiarise visitors with the concept of sustainable development over three stages and make them aware of the risks of one-sided developments.

We want to show that global answers are needed in questions of the environment, social responsibility and the economy. The Federal Pavilion thus becomes a Palais of the possible. It will take visitors on a journey to show them that we should take very specific measures with regard to our future and that of our planet."
Cité des Sciences et de l’Industrie, Paris, Frankreich


Visitor capacity per day

Total visitors

Exhibition space
1'400 m2

Swiss Confederation

LIGNUM Swiss Timber Industry Conference, Zurich www.lignum.ch
EV Swiss Oil association (Neu: Avenergy Suisse), Zurich www.avenergy.ch

Overall project management Confederation
Fred Nyffeler

Project management
Techdata AG (Christian Burri, Stéphane Maye), Berne www.techdata.net

Federal Department of the Environment, Transport, Energy and Communications (Lead)
Federal Department of Foreign Affairs
Federal Department of Home Affairs
Federal Department of Economic Affairs 

Groupe H (Hervé Dessimoz), Meyrin www.groupe-h.com

Charpente Concept SA (Thomas Büchi), Perly-Certoux www.charpente-concept.com

Concept scenography              
Cité des Sciences et de l’Industrie (Frédéric Poisson), Paris, France www.cite-sciences.fr

Overall production scenography                      
Eca2 (Yves Pépin), Paris. France www.eca2.com

Responsible for federal projects Expo.02
Lisa Humbert-Droz

Coaching Expo.02
Armin Heusser (Head)
Christelle Wick

Operations management
Hans-Ruedi Schaffhauser
Edi Kurmann (Operations Manager)
Marc Lombard (Operations Manager)
Adrian Schranz (Assistant Operations Manager)
Matthias Tuchschmied (Assistant Operations Manager)

Thomas Bruggisser, Jacqueline Thiébaud, Amadeus Thiemann, Isabelle Wippermann

Photos: Press kit Palais de l'Equilibre; © Jürg Frei; © Andreas Mosimann; © Archive Frédérique Mouchet; © Christoph Steudler; © Michael Studt; © Eugen von Arb; © Tom Weilenmann; © Philipp Zanatta; © Claude Zingg; © Archive Ralph Ammann