Bruno Weber

(*1931 Dietikon, †2011 Spreitenbach) 

Artist, sculptor, excavator, carpenter, bricklayer, painter, tiler, plasterer, architect and inventor.

Genesis and Development of the “Gesamtkunstwerk Weinrebenpark”

As a child and adolescent, Bruno Weber immersed himself in the art of painting. Encouraged by Swiss painter Max Gubler, he joined the Zürich School of Fine Arts where his teachers were the Bauhaus artist Johannes Itten and the sculptor Ernst Gubler. Following the wishes of his parents, he completed an apprenticeship as lithographer at Orell Füssli in Zürich.

In 1962, while building his own studio, he became fascinated by architecture, with use of concrete as a material. He also developed an inexhaustible urge to design a garden in the woods. The space through which you can experience the interplay of sculptural architecture and nature, is said to be the largest park of its kind in Switzerland created by a single artist.

Parallel to the vast industrialisation of the valley of the river Limmat – and as a response to it – Bruno Weber created a world that reminds one of dreams and which conveys the understanding between man, nature and living space. Even after the creator’s death, the park has remained a “work in progress” as Bruno Weber left behind innumerable drafts and drawings of projects. In collaboration with the artist’s family, the Bruno Weber Foundation is engaged in the preservation, documentation and further construction of the Weinrebenpark.

Biographical Data, Chronology of the Park and the Bruno Weber Foundation

1949      School of Fine Arts in Zürich

1952      Apprenticeship Diploma as Lithographer at Orell Füssli in Zürich

1952      Period of study in Rome (Italy)

1952      Bruno Weber’s family buys the land on which the sculpture park is located today

1962      Building of the studio, until 1963

1965      First extensions of the residential building with column sculptures

1967      First extensions in the park

1968      Life and work with (and marriage to) Maria Anna Godon, muse and first collaborator since 1965

1972      Birth of twin daughters Mireille and Rebecca

1972      The first employee is hired

1976      Demolition ordered by the municipality of Spreitenbach, construction halted

1977      Foundation proper of the “Gesellschaft Rebenpark” (“Society for the Park of the Vines”, today: “Friends of the Bruno Weber Sculpture Park”)

1988      Public authorities of the canton Aargau grant a general construction permit for the whole complex

1990      Setting up of the Bruno Weber Foundation (previously: “Foundation Weinrebenpark”)

2003      The municipal assembly of Spreitenbach approves of a rezoning for artistic purposes

2005      The canton of Aargau approves of the rezoning, naming the area the “Weinrebenparkzone” henceforth

2006      Ground-breaking ceremony for the water garden

2006      Creation of the “Bruno Weber Weg” (“Bruno Weber Path”) through an initiative of the eponymous association

2011       24. October 2011: Bruno Weber dies aged 80

2012      The water garden is inaugurated

2013      The Bruno Weber Foundation is in dire straits

2014      February: resignation of the board of foundation, disagreements and nebulous contractual relationships with the benefactor

2014      March: the foundation supervisory authority of the canton Aargau appoints an interim management who analyse the situation and order

              the closure of the park as of the 21st of October 2015

2014      October: an association to fight the closure of the park is founded, over 16’000 signatures are collected

2014      November: a new board of foundation with experts from the fields of architecture, finances and art is appointed

2014      December: as a basis for the future, a licence agreement between Maria Anna Weber and the foundation is set up

2015      January: The board of foundation decides to re-open the park as of April 4th, 2015. Money from the many admissions before the closure

              as well as sponsoring by patrons Holcim allow for another year of operation

2015      April: re-opening of the park. The Bruno Weber Foundation presents concept 3721, which contains many project proposals for patrons