Grenzsanität Brig – A museum at times
Lucia Bernini / Jonas Heller
HS  2022  Reframe, Rearrange, Repeat


The building of the Grenzsanität, designed by Heidi and Peter Wenger, is located at the train station in Brig. It was built in 1957 for the purpose of sanitary examinations of migrant workers passing the Swiss-Italian border. These examinations consisted of screenings for infectious diseases such as Tuberculosis by means of blood collection and radiologic exams. They were mandatory for people immigrating into Switzerland in order to obtain a work and residence permit.

The Grenzsanität is the architectural representation of the restrictive immigration policies established in the post-war years. Terms such as Saisonnierstatut, Überfremdung, Schwarzenbach-Initiative, or Grenzsanitätsdienst did not only shape the discourse about migration in those years, but affected the lives of thousands of people and families. The Grenzsanität is a Denkmal by means of which their story can be told.