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A Brand New Cultural Center for Ticino

Lugano built it right by the water. On September 12, the new culture and community center, Lugano Arte e Cultura (LAC), opened its doors, offering art, theater and music – whatever the heart of a culture lover desires. Credit Suisse is a project partner and will be popping the champagne corks as well.

Ticino, one of the sunniest places in Switzerland, has now added another string to its bow. At a central lakeside location in the heart of Lugano, local architect Ivano Gianola has created a 180,000 cubic meter building clad in green marble that should give the city new momentum: Lugano Arte e Cultura, or LAC for short. Credit Suisse is a partner in the impressive cultural center.

While the concert hall and administrative office are built on the hillside, the museum wing juts out like a wedge into the Piazza Bernardo Luini, which is open to the lake. The piazza is named for the Renaissance painter who painted the frescoes in the neighboring church of Santa Maria degli Angioli. The LAC’s huge window facade seems to suspend the boundary between indoors and outdoors and ensures that the entrance hall is generously floode with light.

A Versatile Venue

Ticino’s new temple of the muses offers something for everyone – a multi-genre venue, in today’s parlance. Music, dance and theater lovers are cheering the opening of the thousand-seat theater and concert hall outfitted with a special acoustic shell where plays, dance events and various concerts will be held year-round. Friends of the fine arts, meanwhile, will be excited about the Museo d’arte della Svizzera italiana (MASILugano), which merges the art museums of the city of Lugano and the Canton of Ticino. Three exhibit levels provide generous space for presenting the museum’s collection and its ambitious exhibition program.

Credit Suisse is strongly committed to supporting the MASILugano as part of its partnership with the LAC – which only makes sense since it has long been a supporter of Lugano’s art museum. “Our collaboration with the Museo d’Arte Lugano began in 1992 with our sponsorship of a single art exhibit. Since then it has evolved into a successful partnership that will continue with the MASILugano,” explains Gabriela Cotti Musio, Regional Management Support Ticino.

Acting as a Team

Many facets of culture under one roof: This is the guiding principle of the LAC. Moving in together, as in real life, is a major challenge. Partners have to be integrated, roles redefine and compromises negotiated. Programming and event scheduling places heavy demands on the individual institutions and requires new methods of collaboration. “Naturally, the various external partners had different needs, expectations and ideas, and it wasn’t always easy to reach amicable solutions,” says Mira Song, Head of Sponsorship Switzerland. “It paid off nicely that all Credit Suisse representatives – Regional Management and Marketing, as well as central Sponsorship – worked so well as a team. As a result, we had a strong position and have been able to effectively represent our interests.”

Widespread Appeal

The LAC is a good example of constructive collaboration between the public and private sectors on behalf of cultural endeavors, says Alberto Petruzzella, Head of Private & Wealth Management Clients Ticino. “This partnership offers us a welcome opportunity to better position ourselves in the cultural life of Lugano – a city where we have had a presence for over 100 years.”

Those in charge of the LAC are ambitious: Thanks to its high-quality offering, the center should serve as an attraction far beyond Switzerland’s borders and strengthen Lugano’s role as the “cultural intersection between northern and southern Europe.” Massimo Crivelli, Marketing Private Banking & Wealth Management for Region Ticino, adds, “The new center will enrich the city’s cultural scene and is likely to attract many visitors. It opens up entirely new, exciting marketing opportunities and enables us to offer clients appealing events.”

Opening celebrations at the LAC will run through September 27. The final chord will ring out in three performances of Beethoven’s Ninth conducted by Vladimir Ashkenazy. Several enticing events are already scheduled for the next few months: concerts with András Schiff, performances under the baton of Valery Gergiev as well as an evening with Italian singer-songwriter Angelo Branduardi.