rethinking of a
millennium old craft
The air is smoky, slightly nebulous and smells of the open fire that has been burning all day in the very middle of the workshop. You can hear the scratching of the old hand plane and the high clinking sounds, which sound with each hammer blow on the steel hoop. The atmosphere feels foreign and still pure and original.
It is the atmosphere of the cooperage Suppiger from Küssnacht am Rigi, which carries out a trade, which seems as old as our time calculation and has hardly changed since 2000 years.
The barrel production is deeply rooted in Swiss history. In former times the piled up oak-wood-towers were a part of every second village. Because of the appearance of metal and plastic containers, the craft got into crisis and more and more workshops had to close down. Today only three cooperages remain in Switzerland.
I truly believe that this craft possesses various qualities which, reinterpreted, will regain importance in the near future. Motivated by this thought, I wanted to create an object that represents the craft of cooperage to the public and prevents it from falling into oblivion.
During three days I was allowed to work in the cooperage Suppiger, asking questions, learning and being inspired.
The result is a concept for the redesign of the village center of Küssnacht am Rigi. The center is formed by a circular fountain, which serves as a social meeting point and brings the place to life. Matching the fountain I designed a tree shelter, a seating element and an information board, using local stone and elements of the cooperage.