Swiss Nationality Room to be dedicated
The Swiss Nationality Room is to be dedicated April 22 at an invitation-only event during which a pair of Bernese mountain dogs will lead guests from Heinz Chapel to the ceremony in the Cathedral of Learning.
The University’s 29th nationality room, in room 321, has been in the planning stages since the Swiss Nationality Room Committee was formed in 1998. Pitt emeritus faculty member Heinz W. Kunz, former honorary consul for Switzerland in Pittsburgh, chairs the committee, which raised the necessary funds. Construction began last summer.
The pine-paneled Swiss room is modeled after a 15th-century room from Fraumunster Abbey in Zurich. It features four white oak trestle tables that represent the nation’s four languages: French, Italian, German and Romansch. The room’s 26 country-style chairs, or stabellen, are embellished with carved and painted symbols of Switzerland’s cantons — the states that form the Swiss confederation. The leaded stained-glass windows feature symbols of the original Swiss cantons, which united in 1291, and the Swiss Confederation cross. A carved and painted frieze depicting Swiss flora and fauna and a lectern, not pictured, are to be in place in time for the dedication.
A key element at the front of the wood-paneled classroom is the ornate tile oven, or kachelofen, made by Bellevue-based Red Clay Tile Works. It is styled after a 17th-century oven in the Schloss Wülflingen castle in Winterthur, Switzerland.
Three examples of the tilework detail on the oven.