Bruno Weber Sculpture Park

 

Introduction
As my pictures show, the Sculpture Park in the Swiss town of Dietikon near Zürich is a wonderfully weird world of fantasy. The fantasy and imagination belonged to Bruno Weber. Born in 1931, he began painting at the age of 11, studied at Zürich Art College and trained as a lithographer. He then spent time studying in Rome and made educational trips to other parts of Italy as well as to Greece and Czechoslovakia. In 1969 he created his first sculpture for the garden around his family estate in Dietikon, overlooking the Limmat Valley, which in the meantime has grown into a sculpture park covering an area of 20,000 m2.

Zürich Sculpture Park
Bruno Weber’s surreal works (see pictures) are considered by some to eclipse even those of Gaudi and Hundertwasser. The birds of paradise perched on the wrought-iron entrance gate are no more than a hint of what is to come. It’s not just the profusion of strange sculpted creatures, some sinister, some comical, some sad that is so overwhelming, but also the sheer scale of many of the shapes, for example two flying dogs over one hundred metres long and four storeys high. Before his death in 2011 Weber started on a water garden, which he estimated would cost around five million Swiss francs. He was given a state grant for it by the government, but died before he could finish it. Other highlights are a fountain called the Source Goddess, which was one of Weber’s first concrete sculptures, two dragons opposite the family house, and the Dragon Gate that represented Switzerland at the 1992 World Expo. Like Gaudi in Park Güell in Barcelona (which Weber visited) and Hundertwasser’s work, Bruno Weber used a lot of coloured tiles in his work, and these, often in the form of mosaics, are a feature of the Sculpture Park.

Don’t miss
The magic forest; the 25m high tower on the villa; Weber’s focus on the balance between male and female; the Wassergartenhaus; the Flügelhund footbridge, from which you get a view of a large part of the park.

Getting there
Take the S3 or S9 train from the centre of Zürich for the 15 minute journey to Dietikon, from where you can follow the signs on foot (30 minutes) to the sculpture park. If that is too far to walk, take the 325 bus from the railway station at Dietikon. Alternatively, from Zürich, catch the 306 bus to its terminus for a shorter walk to the park.

Opening hours
Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays, 11.00 to 18.00, March to October only.

And finally…
The Bruno Weber Sculpture Park is constantly changing, in that a team of four staff and a number of volunteers is continuing to make small sculptures and mosaics in Weber’s style. So, inspired by my pictures, you may want to visit more than once.

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