Armin Meili - Switzerland

Armin Meili (30.04.1892 - 10.21.1981) was a Swiss architect and politician. After a humanistic education, he started to study architecture at the ETH Zurich in 1911.
He graduated in 1915 under Gustav Gull. From 1915 to 1917 Armin Meili was assistant at the chair of Karl Moser. After winning the competition for the Evangelical Reformed Church Solothurn
in 1917, he became a partner in the architectural firm of his father. He continued the office on his own from 1924 onwards. In 1936 he was appointed Director of the Swiss National Exhibition 1939.
Meili's work as director of the national exhibition, which was seen as an expression of spiritual defense, was contemporary received very positively. The then avangarde art and architecture
was prevented from taking part in the national exhibition by Armin Meili. Of course, thus arouse critic among those artists and architects.
From 1939-1955 Meili was active as a National Councillor and addressed especially issues such as urban and regional planning. In 1940 he received a honorary doctorate from the University of Zurich. In the Swiss army, he held the rank of colonel, where he was appointed
representative for fortifications in 1940.
Even before the completion of the Reformed Church in the city of Solothurn (completed 1925) there were published a number of projects under his name when he was still working
in his father's office. In 1926 he presented his own house in the professional magazin "Das Werk". As early as 1930 this publication was followed by another one, which presentend a house that now sought to reconcile pre-modern traditions with the principles of modern architecture. In the late 1920s he won the two most important competitions which had been anounced in Lucerne in the period after the First World War. These successes gave him the opportunity to shape the further urban development of Lucerne. In 1929 he won the competition for the town plan of Lucerne, which was implemented in 1933  after a revision, and in 1930 he won the competition for the Art and Congress Building, which was completed in 1933. Only little is preserved from the original designs by Armin Meili. The Culture and Convention Centre was demolished in 1996 and replaced by the new Building designed by Jean Nouvel. Meili realized many other churches, residential and commercial buildings, hotel buildings, factories and military buildings. Reformed church buildings designed by Armin Meili are to be found next to Solothurn in Wolhusen, Reiden, Dagmersellen and Beinwil am See. An important work of Armin Meili is the welfare house of the Brown Boveri Cie company in Baden. Built in collaboration with the Italian architect Giovanni Romano in the years 1949-1952, the Centro Svizzero in Milan is considered as one of the most important works, not only of this architect, but of the Swiss postwar modernism at all.

1952 - 1954  Brown Boveri & Cie Welfare House - Baden