Swiss Society for Folk Studies – Schweizerische Gesellschaft fur Volkskunde SSFS/SGV) – founded in 1896, is the main organisation involved in the study, research, and documenting of Swiss folk culture. As part of these aims the SSFS includes a focus on vernacular and ‘folk’ building culture, including the broad and historical rural vernacular wood construction culture. The organisation holds extensive historical materials including a photo archive (in German) and other material.
Swiss Farmhouse Research project– started in 1948 by the Swiss Society for Folk Studies (SGV.) Funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation and regional cantons, the research project was moved from Zug to the Ballenberg Open Air Museum in 2019. The projects archive now includes approximately 200,000 negatives, 24,000 slides and 10,000 plans of rural buildings plus a considerable collection of other documentation (texts, images, drawings). The database provides detailed access to a specialist library with over 8,500 titles on rural buildings.
The museum’s farmhouse research also includes the Swiss Farmhouse research archive (in German).
on every canton are available on farmhouse related subject matter.
An interview with the Swiss Farmhouse Project’s director, Benno Furrer, can be found here.
research – as part of this research the museum initiative investigated over
thirty houses in the Lötschen valley. Through dendrochronological dating they
uncovered that the houses originated between 1410 and 1530, with both their
antiquity and the sheer number of buildings an unexpected outcome. Features
found in the buildings included ceiling joists running at right angles to the
ridgepole, old window jambs showing alongside enlarged window openings – the
format of earlier windows – and irregular protrusion of the beam ends made from
morticed block construction. See here
for more details regarding the Blatten house.
See also the BFL/AHB research – Building renovation in Upper Valais – VetaNova (in German)
The Walser Alps project – a completed EU funded cultural research project includes a focus on Walser building methods, and asks the question of whether there was a distinctive Walser architectural style
Living Traditions in Switzerland – a section of the Federal Office of Culture (FOC) charged with responsibility for the country’s heritage and traditions. An Information page provides news and updates. The Living Traditions Section includes a variety of resources, including a ‘List of Living Traditions’ website, with further information on various wood related traditions, such as Shingle making, Alpine wood carving, and the Brienz wood carving traditions.
The National Centre for Cultural Heritage (NIKE) – is the principal centre for the country’s cultural heritage. This spans archaeological sites, monuments, historical sites, and intact cultural landscapes.
There are approximately 92,000 members and 39 regional
professional associations, with work ranging from providing specialist
expertise at the Federal Governmental level, to organising cultural heritage
events at the local and European levels. Its broader work, vernacular and
historical buildings, is a further significant strand.
Institute of Building Archaeology and Construction History – the institute’s historical focus is on architecture and building from the Renaissance (early 15th century) up to the early 20th century, including a focus on vernacular and traditional timber building culture and technology.
Development of the wide-span wooden roof in Northern and Central Switzerland 1600-1850 – is the principal relevant research investigating the development of wide-span church roofs in northern and central Switzerland in the early modern period, covering over 120 church roof structures being undertaken by Jasmin Schafter – See Ms Schafer here.
The Chair of Structural Design – is involved in research into the historical early application of glue laminated timber in Switzerland.