"Arcades des Arts" One Name, Two Foundations
The Pont de la Machine is now home to the Fondation de la Haute Horlogerie and the Michelangelo Foundation for Creativity and Craftsmanship. Renamed "Arcades des Arts", this historical building in downtown Geneva thus becomes a veritable hub of watchmaking and craft culture.
The relocation announced last year has now taken place: the Fondation de la Haute Horlogerie and the Michelangelo Foundation for Creativity and Craftsmanship have taken up residence in the Pont de la Machine, a historic building built in 1843 on the Rhône. The architecture of this former water pumping station, with its series of arches running along the facade, inspired the new name and logo of this building, renamed "Arcades des Arts" and which will house a brand-new space for exhibitions and public events dedicated to watchmaking and artistic crafts.
"By welcoming these two foundations, the premises will now be infused with the art of watchmaking and artistic crafts", said Franco Cologni, President of the FHH Cultural Council and founder of the Michelangelo Foundation. "Independent yet complementary, both aim to promote a culture of excellence that is expressed through high-quality watchmaking products as well as in the creations of master artisans. In a nutshell, the ‘Arcades des Arts’ honor the beauty of fine workmanship and the knowledge that guides it."
With this new location in the very heart of Geneva with its proud horological and artisanal traditions, the Fondation de la Haute Horlogerie is testifying to its commitment to the watchmaking values that have been part of the soul and history of the city since the 16th century. This presence thus reinforces the Foundation's mission to promote Fine Watchmaking worldwide and reinforces Geneva’s stature as an essential watchmaking destination.
"Watchmaking is embedded in the DNA of our canton", stated Pierre Maudet, Geneva State Councillor. "It is a key sector of the Geneva economy and an artisanal heritage that is part of our great local tradition of precision and quality. Installing the two Foundations in the ‘Arcades des Arts’ is designed to perpetuate this age-old expertise, of which the first mention in Geneva dates back to the 13th century."
The Michelangelo Foundation's mission is to promote and perpetuate excellent craftsmanship, strengthen its links with the world of design, and ensure its sustainability. This new address in the very heart of the historical district of Geneva's watchmakers, goldsmiths, boot makers, cutlers and other crafters supports the Foundation's ambition to promote, preserve and pass on the expertise cultivated by master artisans.
"I created the first Artistic Craft Days in Geneva in 2012 and have sought to develop them since then elsewhere in Switzerland, because I’m convinced that we must expose the public to such events by revealing the skills required to weave the magic of objets d’art", said Sami Kanaan, Minister of Culture and Sport of the City of Geneva. "This initiative was met with instant enthusiasm! I am delighted that a permanent place can be dedicated to watchmaking and thus reflect our city’s longstanding tradition in this field."
The "Arcades des Arts" will spread its wings from January 30, 2020, when its program will kick off with a first exhibition shared by the two Foundations. Entitled "Singular Talents", this will be devoted to the unique stories of artisans with rare skills and exceptional talents.