Swiss perspectives in 10 languages

US star architect wins Swiss commission

A model of Daniel Libeskind's design for the new Bern leisure centre Keystone

The renowned US architect, Daniel Libeskind, has won a commission from the Migros retail group to construct a vast leisure and shopping centre on the outskirts of Bern.

Libeskind, who won international recognition for his Jewish museum in Berlin, beat off competition from four other world-class architects to secure the commission.

The winning project envisages a complex of buildings in the shape of a hand, with separate fingers housing a hotel, cinema, swimming pool, theatre and congress centre. Homes for 2,500 people are to be built in the vicinity.

According to Libeskind, the concept is for a place where shopping, culture and recreation, city and country come together.

“This will be a centre which combines the past and the future, a place for the 21st century,” Libeskind said.

His project leader, Barbara Holzer, said the idea was for a building in harmony with its surroundings.

The new complex is expected to create 800 new jobs and be completed by 2005.

swissinfo with agencies

In compliance with the JTI standards

More: SWI certified by the Journalism Trust Initiative

You can find an overview of ongoing debates with our journalists here. Please join us!

If you want to start a conversation about a topic raised in this article or want to report factual errors, email us at

SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR

SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR