Heiliger Dimitrios. Tracing the Greek Orthodox Community in Zurich

Vertiefungsarbeit FS24
Studierende: Tiffanie Genilloud 
Betreuung: Maria Kouvari

Every Sunday, over two hundred believers gather in the “Heiliger Dimitrios” Greek Orthodox Church in Zurich. Almost invisible in relation to other ethnic and religious minorities, the Greek Orthodox Community established its parish in Zurich in the 1960s, when successive waves of Greek immigrants arrived in Switzerland in the frame of mass migration. The edifice of Heiliger Dimitrios was designed in 1983 by St. Gallen architect Marcel Ferrier, following a competition organised by the City of Zurich, which established the conditions for the architectural integration of the sanctuary building into the city. This focus work examines the built artifact of this Greek Orthodox Church in relation to its historical context, architecture, and meanings today. It endeavours to answer the following: How the material representation of Heiliger Dimitrios witnesses the memory and identity of the Greek Orthodox community in Zurich, and how the built heritage of a minority group shapes the memory of a city.

The focus work forms part of the research and exhibition project “A Future for Whose Past? The Heritage of Minorities, Fringe Groups, and People without a Lobby” on the occasion of the 50th Anniversary of the European Architectural Heritage Year 1975.