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The Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs, Presence Switzerland has today announced details of their exciting plans for the House of Switzerland, one of the few Houses to be fully open to the public during the London 2012 Olympic Games.
Breaking with tradition, the House will be a mini-village created in and around the famous Glaziers Hall, on the south bank of the Thames, and is expected to attract approximately 250,000 visitors.
Flashes of red will be scattered across the area to steer guests from the UK and around the world towards the House where they will be able to experience the very best of Swiss culture, cuisine and business creativity. A number of other – unexpected – features of Switzerland will be on show, such as the country’s expertise in the development of new and innovative technologies.
All of these aspects will be connected through a games theme. The House of Switzerland 2012 will literally become a creative and innovative playground where visitors actively engage with and become a part of the Swiss guest centre.
The destination partner Bernese Oberland-Jungfrau will offer the possibility to experience traditional or less well-known Swiss sports in an outside game arena. The official caterer Mosimann’s brings the playful element to life with his creative fusions of Bernese, Swiss and British specialities. The inside spaces in Glaziers Hall will surprise with urban creativity, trendy gastronomy and a highly modern videogame lounge.
Mr. Urs Schmid, Deputy Head of Mission, Embassy of Switzerland, said:
“The London 2012 Olympic Games is a wonderful opportunity for Switzerland to engage with a wide range of tourists and UK residents around the world’s largest sporting and cultural event. Switzerland and the UK share a strong and long-established relationship, with the House of Switzerland another example of our joint collaboration in exciting and innovative projects.”
Mr. Nicolas Bideau, Head of Presence Switzerland & Director of House of Switzerland, said:
“We are delighted to outline our vision for welcoming Londoners, Olympic fans and tourists to one of the few Houses fully open to the public. With free admission and a lively atmosphere, we estimate providing 250,000 guests with a flavour of modern Switzerland. We look forward to showcasing a different side of our country in 2012 – visitors should expect the unexpected!”
The House will welcome visitors for 24 days, opening a week before the Games on 20th July and ending in tandem with the London 2012 Closing Ceremony on the 12th August.
Distinctive red walkways and canopies are planned to mark the House of Switzerland village, which includes the Glaziers Hall building and outside courtyards. The village concept allows for an open air stage for Swiss music and cultural performances as well as public viewing throughout the Games.
The House will be the hub for Swiss activities during the Games and will host the Swiss Olympic team, as well as their sponsors and partners. Alongside the range of festivities planned, the House will also host Medal celebrations to bring people together to honour the success of Swiss athletes competing at London 2012.
The House will feature dedicated zones offering the opportunity for visitors to learn about a number of Swiss regions. These include the House of Switzerland destination partner Bernese Oberland-Jungfrau, one of the most spectacular mountain settings in Switzerland with a highly popular mountain and ski destination set almost 3500 metres above sea level; and Zurich, the country’s largest city and developing European hotspot for innovation and creative industries.