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The sixth Swiss national exhibition, an exceptional event of major symbolic, political and cultural significance for Swiss national identity.

Expo 02

President of the board of management

Three Lakes region, Switzerland

1999 - 2002

Expo.02, the Swiss national exhibition, was held in the Three Lakes region, at the border between French- and German-speaking Switzerland. Constructed over the lakes, the Expo.02 sites were named arteplages, a neologism created from the words art and plage (beach).

Expo.02 is Switzerland's sixth national exhibition, the first of which was held in Geneva in 1893 and the fifth in Lausanne in 1964. Ever since the 19th century, national exhibitions have served to reinforce the sense of national identity in a multicultural, multilingual country. These events of major symbolic, political and cultural significance constitute privileged moments of debate regarding Helvetic identity and the future of Switzerland.

This unique event was organised by the Swiss Confederation, the cantons of Berne, Fribourg, Jura, Neuchâtel and Vaud and the cities of Bienne, Morat, Neuchâtel and Yverdon-les-Bains.

The four above-mentioned cities were also the venues for the various events. More than 40 projects were presented on the four arteplages, which were themed as follows:

  • “Power and Liberty” at Bienne
  • “The Moment and Eternity” at Morat
  • “Nature and Artifice” at Neuchâtel
  • “Me and the Universe” at Yverdon-les-Bains
  • “Direction and Flux” on the Jura mobile arteplage

The surface area of the four arteplages covered over 475,000 m².

Expo.02 attracted 10.3 million visitors (an average of 64,710 admissions per day), 93% of whom described themselves as being satisfied with their experience. 3.7 million season tickets and individual tickets were sold. 450 staff members contributed to the realisation of the project and more than 6,000 of their representatives were present at the various events. Expo.02 had a budget of 1.6 billion Swiss francs (around 1.1 billion euros), of which 352 million came from the private sector.

CHF 1.6 billion
10.3 million

Strategic management of complex projects
Conduite stratégique de projets complexes