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Warning: error_log(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected the timezone 'UTC' for now, but please set date.timezone to select your timezone. in /var/www/ess-spa.ch/inc/bx/errorhandler.php on line 84

Warning: error_log(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected the timezone 'UTC' for now, but please set date.timezone to select your timezone. in /var/www/ess-spa.ch/inc/bx/errorhandler.php on line 84

Warning: error_log(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected the timezone 'UTC' for now, but please set date.timezone to select your timezone. in /var/www/ess-spa.ch/inc/bx/errorhandler.php on line 84

Warning: error_log(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected the timezone 'UTC' for now, but please set date.timezone to select your timezone. in /var/www/ess-spa.ch/inc/bx/errorhandler.php on line 84

Warning: error_log(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected the timezone 'UTC' for now, but please set date.timezone to select your timezone. in /var/www/ess-spa.ch/inc/bx/errorhandler.php on line 84

Warning: error_log(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected the timezone 'UTC' for now, but please set date.timezone to select your timezone. in /var/www/ess-spa.ch/inc/bx/errorhandler.php on line 84

Warning: error_log(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected the timezone 'UTC' for now, but please set date.timezone to select your timezone. in /var/www/ess-spa.ch/inc/bx/errorhandler.php on line 84

Warning: error_log(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected the timezone 'UTC' for now, but please set date.timezone to select your timezone. in /var/www/ess-spa.ch/inc/bx/errorhandler.php on line 84

Warning: error_log(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected the timezone 'UTC' for now, but please set date.timezone to select your timezone. in /var/www/ess-spa.ch/inc/bx/errorhandler.php on line 84

Warning: error_log(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected the timezone 'UTC' for now, but please set date.timezone to select your timezone. in /var/www/ess-spa.ch/inc/bx/errorhandler.php on line 84

Warning: error_log(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected the timezone 'UTC' for now, but please set date.timezone to select your timezone. in /var/www/ess-spa.ch/inc/bx/errorhandler.php on line 84

Warning: error_log(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected the timezone 'UTC' for now, but please set date.timezone to select your timezone. in /var/www/ess-spa.ch/inc/bx/errorhandler.php on line 84

Warning: error_log(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected the timezone 'UTC' for now, but please set date.timezone to select your timezone. in /var/www/ess-spa.ch/inc/bx/errorhandler.php on line 84

Warning: error_log(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected the timezone 'UTC' for now, but please set date.timezone to select your timezone. in /var/www/ess-spa.ch/inc/bx/errorhandler.php on line 84

Warning: error_log(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected the timezone 'UTC' for now, but please set date.timezone to select your timezone. in /var/www/ess-spa.ch/inc/bx/errorhandler.php on line 84

Warning: error_log(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected the timezone 'UTC' for now, but please set date.timezone to select your timezone. in /var/www/ess-spa.ch/inc/bx/errorhandler.php on line 84

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Warning: error_log(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected the timezone 'UTC' for now, but please set date.timezone to select your timezone. in /var/www/ess-spa.ch/inc/bx/errorhandler.php on line 84
ESS SPA Expositions suisses de sculpture Bienne — Schweizerische Plastikausstellungen Biel / ESS Historique / 1986 / Alfred H.Wyss: People's Palace
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ESS Historique / 1986 / Alfred H.Wyss: People's Palace

La Maison du Peuple - une sculpture monumentale des années 30

Les débuts
C'est dans les années de guerre (1917) qu'a été fondée la coopérative de construction "Maison du Peuple Bienne". Elle devait offrir aux milieux ouvriers des locaux de réunions ainsi qu'un hôtel et un restaurant à prix avantageux. En 1929, une votation populaire permet à la coopérative d'obtenir un droit de superficie et les prêts nécessaires à la construction de la rue de la Gare qui dura de 1930 à 1932.

Qu'il ait été possible, à cette époque à Bienne, de réaliser une œuvre architecturale résolument orientée vers le modernisme, est une conséquence de la politique communale de l'époque, celle-là même à qui l'on doit la construction d'une plage et d'un port, modèles du genre, ainsi que le fait d'avoir accueilli la General Motors. Progrès oblige, on s'orienta résolument vers des conceptions d'avenir en regardant au-delà des frontières et l'on osa faire du neuf.

Trait d'union vers l'architecture moderne internationale
L'architecte Edouard Lanz décrit ainsi son projet:
"Cela ne fut pas une tâche ordinaire. Il ne suffisait pas à l'architecte de résoudre des problèmes de technique de construction, mais à donner forme et expression à un centre destiné à la classe moyenne de la population, et ceci dans un des endroits les plus exposés de la ville.
Cette tâche ne pouvait être résolue par une simple expression formelle, mais par une connaissance personnelle des idéaux que poursuivait la génération précédente pour ouvrir, aussi bien aux contemporains qu'à leurs successeurs, un chemin hors du chaos culturel et économique vers une vraie démocratie."

La qualité architectonique et urbaine du bâtiment repose sur l'interprétation du triangle formé par la Rue de la Gare et la Rue d'Aarberg. (F. Andry)

Avec la Maison du Peuple on réalisa un immeuble qui au point de vue architectural, au  moins sur le plan suisse, est du plus grand intérêt. La structure architectonique du bâtiment s'articule en 3 points principaux:
- la Rotonde, prolongation du rez-de-chaussée en direction de la Place Guisan
- le complexe des salles, avec la salle de spectacles et les locaux de réunion au-dessus du rez-de-chaussée
- au-dessus des salles, la partie hôtelière et la cage d'escaliers en forme de tour

La rénovation doit sauver la qualité de l'architecture originale. Il faut revenir à l'état d'avant les travaux entrepris lors de la dernière période d'exploitation et utiliser les salles et le restaurant de la même manière qu'auparavant. (F. Andry)

"Tandis que, dans son aspect extérieur, la construction agit par la progression des masses, allant de la partie basse à la rue d'Aarberg et se terminant brusquement avec la construction de 8 étages avec sa cage d'escaliers en forme de tour sur la place de la Gare (aujourd'hui Place Guisan) et qui s'en détache grâce au contraste des briques de couleurs sombres, la structure de la construction se limite à une accentuation et un regroupement des ouvertures." (Ed. Lanz)

On atteint ainsi à une forme qui, pour "l’expressionisme'' - importante orientation de la "nouvelle architecture" -, remplit un rôle très important.

Il paraît ainsi clair que l'architecture peut être assimilée à une œuvre plastique. Comme le préconisait Le Courbusier, les formes primaires doivent être reconnues belles, car faciles à lire. Ombres et lumières, murs et espaces deviennent des éléments architecturaux. Le but était une construction élaborée, formée d'éléments clairs donnant naissance à un ensemble d'un grand style.

Une maison de 50 ans qui résiste à toutes les tentatives de modification des volumes parce que sa conception originale est forte, juste et résistante. On peut affecter les locaux à d'autres buts sans pour autant nuire à la conception originale. (F. Andry)

De hier à aujourd'hui
Après la mise en faillite de Ia coopérative de la Maison du Peuple en 1975, le Conseil municipal et le Conseil de ville s'efforcèrent d'acquérir le bâtiment, construit sur le terrain communal, pour le prix de 1,6 million de francs. Ces efforts furent réduits à néant par la décision populaire négative des 24/25 septembre 1977 refusant les crédits demandés.

Suite à d'autres expertises et projets, l'Office des constructions lança l'idée d'installer l'Ecole de musique dans la Maison du Peuple. Lors du scrutin des 23/24 octobre 1983, la population biennoise donna son accord à un crédit de 8,405 millions de francs pour la rénovation du bâtiment et son utilisation par l'Ecole de musique.

Cette décision permet ainsi la poursuite de l'utilisation publique du complexe, avec, en particulier, la mise à disposition de la salle de spectacles et des salles de conférence, dont la vie culturelle et les associations biennoises seront les principales bénéficiaires.

L'Ecole de Musique à la Maison du Peuple, c'est aussi une manière de s'engager pour l'école: quitter le monde, un peu isolé, de la vieille ville pour les trépidations de la vie moderne. (F. Andry)


Les textes non spécialement désignés sont de M. Alfred H. Wyss de l’Office des constructions de Bienne et sont extraits d’un texte sur la Maison du peuple




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