Rolex is proud to expand your commitment to world architecture to be named sponsor and official watch of the 14th edition of the International Architecture-La Biennale di Venezia.
The partnership, which combines the most renowned watchmaking in the world to the main forum of international architecture, will linger for three editions of the exhibition until 2018. In addition, this year, Rolex is pleased to support the contribution of Daniel Libeskind on architecture. Installing Sonnets of Babylon was designed especially for the flag of Venice.
“Dedication to accuracy, performance and aesthetics that has guided the Rolex from the beginning is the same fundamental dedication to the art we call architecture” says Gian Riccardo Marini, CEO of Rolex.”The Rolex and the architecture share the same attention to detail and quality. As well as the elements of a clock, each element of a building joins in harmony to create the final product.”
Rolex’s relationship with leading architects in the world began in the Decade of 1960 in a meeting with Swiss professionals Addor, Julliard and Bolliger in order to draw up the headquarters of the mark in Acacias, Switzerland. In the mid-1990, as part of a strategy of change, Rolex reformed the building. The company had chosen to provide self-sufficiency in manufacturing of essential parts of their watches, and thus acquired its local suppliers.
This integration indicated that the production of all parts of the watches, 1 hour or another, would be held in four places in the country. In Geneva, this reform resulted in major changes in the building of Acacias, along with the construction of two production complexes in Chêne-Bourg and Plan-les-Ouates. In addition, the complex in Bienne, Canton of Bern, was expanded.
In 1997, the Swiss architecture firm Brodbeck-Roulet was hired to design the new buildings in Geneva, with the main aim to create work spaces conducive to high production and exceptional working conditions.
Outside Switzerland, the training and Service Center Lititz Watch Technicum, Pennsylvania, in the United States, was a project of the American architect Michael Graves (1999-2001). Both buildings Rolex Toyocho (2002) and Nakatsu (2009), respectively located and Tokyo and Osaka, were designed by Fumihiko Maki. All these buildings reflect the essence of a high-precision industry.
The Rolex Learning Center, designed by Kazuyo Sejima and Ryue Nishizawa, is the largest representative of the close relationship that the Watch has with architecture and great masters architects. The cultural center and the library of the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) have become landmark design in the sphere of global architecture. As the result of an old partnership between Rolex and the Institute, the building was opened to international acclaim in 2010.
The support of Rolex to architecture is further embedded in the Rolex Arts Initiative Mentors Protegés, philanthropic program et biennial started in 2002. The organization aims to promote young artists in seven areas, including architecture. By bringing together talents beginners to grandmasters for a period of one year, these young people have the opportunity to learn, create and grow in their careers.
Alvaro Siza, one of the main Portuguese Architects, was the first Visual arts mentor at the opening year of the program. Thus, in 2012, the architecture category was officially added with Kazuyo Sejima as mentor. Currently, the Swiss architect Peter Zumthor is the mentor in charge in the program. To your trainee is the Paraguayan architect Gloria Cabral.
Frank Gehry, Sir David Chipperfield, Daniel Libeskind and Ryue Nishizawa have helped guide the Board of advisors, which is formed every new cycle of mentor and trainee.
“Our partnership with the Venice Architecture Biennale reflects the attraction, excellence and achievement that is in the blood of Rolex, as represented by the best of contemporary architecture,”says Gian Riccardo Marini.”We are delighted to be able to cultivate our relationship with this exhibition in the coming years.”