Xenix, Zurich (1997)

In 1904, the School Department of Zürich erected several temporary wooden pavilions in order to respond to the rising demand for classrooms. In 1984, one of these “temporary” – and partially abandoned – structures was conquered by a young group of film enthusiasts who had the idea to setup an alternative cinema. The concept of “Kino Xenix” was as simple as it was successful: A unique film selection ( every month a new program containing up to 30 different movies with a conceptual relation ) plus a bar that generated the necessary turnover to finance the cinema. The former schoolrooms were converted into an auditorium; the three meter wide corridor into a bar. Later, Xenix became a company. In order to run the bar on a professional level, additional sheds for storage and cooling beverages were added to the building. Since none of the structures conformed to building laws, a final solution had to be found. The crew did not want to leave the prime location in the centre of Zurich, so the 100-year-old wooden building was expanded according to the law, incorporating all necessary additional spaces, such as a cooling room, restrooms, a small kitchen, and storage space. Since the bar was frequently overcrowded, it too was expanded.