Christoph Büchel

The House of Friction (Pumpwerk Heimat), 2002 / 2013

from the 27th of August 2021, Water tower of the Lokremise

In 2002, Christoph Büchel (*Basel, 1966) realized one of his impressive walk-in sculptural installations in the former water tower of the Lokremise in St. Gallen. The work was created in connection with the temporary exhibition The House of Friction with works from the collection of Hauser & Wirth. The water tower was built in 1906 according to plans by Robert Maillard and is one of the pioneering reinforced concrete structures in Switzerland.

After the work was acquired by the canton of St. Gallen, Christoph Büchel recreated and significantly expanded his installation The House of Friction (Pumpwerk Heimat) in the spring and summer of 2013. Visitors are meant to experience his work impartially and directly, which is why no description is given in advance. Instead, they can generate their own story while exploring the installation.

“The work itself is a text-producing machine, so to speak, a meaning-generating pumping station through which the visitor flows.” – Christoph Büchel

Most of Büchel’s installations, situated between real physical experience and images from memory, exist only for a limited time during temporary exhibitions. This installation is one of the few that is permanently open and often presents a physically and psychologically challenging experience for visitors.

Curator: Roland Wäspe


Notes and Opening Hours

The installation is open every sunday for the duration of the exhibition Birgit Werres (until 7 August), during the regular opening hours of the Kunstzone (art space) in the Lokremise. Closed-toed, sturdy shoes and non-delicate clothing are strongly recommended for visitors entering the installation. Please also note that the installation is only open to visitors aged eighteen and older.