What is L'Abri ?

L'Abri supports emerging artists from all horizons in their projects by providing work spaces and a recording studio, organising meetings with professionals from different fields, and setting up exchanges with regional and international structures and artists. The challenges are plenty: creating contexts conducive to production and co-production, raising the profile of the artistic projects of the Associate Artistes and helping them disseminate their creations.

Every year, a dozen artists join L'Abri's growing community. During the season, the space becomes a place to live, create and reflect together, where each artist has time to research and work on future projects, with no obligation to produce. From year to year, L'Abri undergoes a metamorphosis as it comes into contact with new sensibilities. Its visual identity, its intellectual dynamics, the layout of its space - everything changes: the works of the associated artists pile up or superimpose. In these palimpsestic spaces, traces of the past carved into the concrete floor coexist with traces of the abundant practices that intersect and are born there, fertile accumulations and ongoing dialogues.

L'Abri defends contemporary creation and emerging artists, building experimental laboratories, providing the conditions for risk-taking, weaving links, encouraging thought, creating encounters and encouraging a diversity of paths and practices.


Co-founded by the City of Geneva and the Hans Wilsdorf Foundation, L'Abri was set up and inaugurated in 2015 within the walls of a former air-raid shelter, dating from 1939 and located in the heart of the old town at Place de la Madeleine 1. At the end of 2020, a second space opened: a former locksmith in historical Carouge at Rue Jacques-Dalphin 10. The two Abris now form a complementary whole, bringing together 3 spaces suitable for hosting public performances, 4 work studios, 1 recording and mixing studio, a construction workshop, offices and a flat.


L'Abri - Genève is a cultural venue whose mission is to support and promote emerging artists. L'Abri works with artists from all artistic fields - music, dance, visual arts, theatre, writing, design, etc.


In 2018, L'Abri embarked on a new phase in the development of its mandate, strongly centred on the notion of support and places particular emphasis on the process.

Institutional resources are deployed to help consolidate the stages leading up to the sharing of the work: time and space for research, structuring, exchanging and pooling resources and skills, building up project matrices, funding and co-productions. Production and performance can be the final stages in this process.

We call this a residency.

What is a residency?

The residency at L'Abri is structured around a first year dedicated to research and development, without production.
The residency can then be extended over the medium or long term, depending on relevance, needs, the involvement of the artists and the emergence of projects.
This second phase is more centred on production, exchanges between residencies and diffusion:

Year 1

  • A group of artists: Each season (September - June) a dozen artists at the start of their career are invited to join L'Abri for a 1-year research residency, with no obligation to produce. These are the Associate Artists. L'Abri does not support projects but artists who wish to become professional artists.

  • Individual research: Each artist is given extended periods of residency throughout the year to develop his or her own projects, initiate collaborations and so on.

  • Exchanges and sharing: A schedule of joint activities is drawn up to enable artists and the team to meet regularly, exchange ideas and work collectively on common artistic, technical and # administrative issues.

Year 2 (3,4,...)

  • Residency exchanges: L'Abri sets up partnerships with other national and international institutions. These collaborations enable the Associate Artists to immerse themselves for shorter periods in other professional and cultural contexts. They also give foreign artists the opportunity to spend a residency in Geneva and to meet L'Abri's Associate Artists.

  • Productions : L'Abri may become a co-producer of projects led by the Associate Artists. However, L'Abri will favour institutional partnerships with other local structures and festivals to co-produce, co-direct and co-curate the productions of the resident artists.

  • Consolidation: L'Abri is a resource centre, a base, a lever, a home, an office, a studio, a meeting room, a kitchen, a debriefing room, a counselling room. Over the years, a growing community of artists has activated L'Abri, nurturing it, consolidating and professionalizing their practices, gaining in autonomy, expertise and scope.

Associate Artists

The Associate Artist has, in essence, a proactive (as opposed to passive) role in the realisation of the entire residency scheme. The scheme must be activated in a joint collaborative movement between the artists and L'Abri. Neither the duration nor the success of a residency can be guaranteed. The artist joins forces with L'Abri to initiate a long-term professional artistic project, in its entirety: structuring, management, conceptualisation, production and distribution.

Becoming an Associate Artist

Criteria :

  • Age limit 30 years
  • Practitioners based in or from the region, with or without a degree from an art college or self-taught in the region, with the aim of anchoring their work in the region over the long term.
  • All disciplines
  • Profile: creation - project management

Preference is given to artists who have not yet produced professional / long-term projects in other institutions / festivals in CH-F.


Artists interested in L'Abri's support program can send us an email to the following address:


enclosing a description of their work, video links, sounds, images or portofolios, and ideas for the residency.

We will do our best to respond to all requests.

*Deadline between January and December of the year preceding the residency (January - Dec. 23 for September 24)*


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