Zürich | Transforming the Kunsthaus

Place: Zürich , Country: Switzerland
Kunsthaus Zürich Modern Art Museum
Kunsthaus Zürich Modern Art Museum
The New Kunsthaus
Project : David Chipperfield Architects
Text by Federica Lusiardi, Inexhibit
Images courtesy of Kunsthaus Zürich

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Kunsthaus Zürich. Monet and Rodin. Photo © www.jpg-factory.com

The Kunsthaus Zürich Extension | David Chipperfield

The Kunsthaus Zürich is a major cultural institution in Switzerland, which foundation dates back to the 18th century and that currently holds one of the most important art collections in the world.
The permanent exhibition ranges from late-Gothic painting to Impressionism – including works by Manet, Monet, Cézanne, van Gogh and Bonnard – and German expressionism; as well as from a comprehensive selection of sculptures by Alberto Giacometti to contemporary art, with works by Tinguely, Beuys and Kiefer, just to name a few. The exhibition offer is further reinforced through temporary exhibition of an international level.
The Kunsthaus is currently housed in a building complex facing the Heimplatz, close to Zürich’s historical center. The complex is constituted of buildings realized in different times, from the first venue, designed by Karl Moser and opened in 1910, to subsequent additions designed by Moser again in 1925, by the Pfister brothers in 1958 and by  Erwin Müller in 1976.

The museum collection and temporary exhibition galleries are located in three floor levels over the ground, while the basement houses a hall for conferences and film projections.

Following an International design competition in two phases, in 2008 British architect David Chipperfield has been appointed to design a major extension (which completion is scheduled for 2017) that, in addition to the current complex, will form the New Kunsthaus, the largest art museum in Switzerland.

kunsthaus schemes

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Above: map of the existing Kunsthaus.
Below: Kunsthause existing building: external view from the Heimplatz.
Photo by Zürich tourismus

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Kunsthaus Zürich, Baroque gallery – Photo Arthur Faust, © Kunsthaus Zürich

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Kunsthaus Zürich, Georg Baselitz – Photo © Caroline Minjolle

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Kunsthaus Zürich, Alberto Giacometti, Works © Succession Alberto Giacometti/2014 ProLitteris, Zurich. Photo © www.jpg-factory.com

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Extension Kunsthaus Zürich . View across Heimplatz to the façade with the new main entrance
Status: 2011 after conclusion of preliminary design project. © David Chipperfield Architects

The Kunsthaus Extension: the design by David Chipperfield

David Chipperfield  conceived the extension as a compact  volume located in a parcel on the north-east side of Seilergraben Straße; opposite to the current museum, thus redefining the public realm between the old and the new venues.

The new building is envisaged to form a coherent exhibition whole, consequently the already existing spaces will be totally re-arranged, redistributing both galleries and services within the old buildings. In the expansion, a part of the collection of the 19th century as well as all collections of contemporary art, video-art and photography will be housed; also spaces for temporary exhibitions and performing art events will be located there.
In the old buildings will remain the older art collections, the Giacometti exhibition, the prints and drawings galleries as well as additional temporary exhibition rooms.

The new building by David Chipperfield, which includes the new large roof-to-ceiling entrance hall of the museum complex, will have three overground stories and one basement.
From the basement an underground passage will link the old and the new venue.
A key-point in Chipperfield’s design is to create an axis extending from the old Kunsthaus, through the new building, up to an art garden and outdoor exhibition space on the opposite end.

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Above: Extension Kunsthaus Zürich, Map.Status: 2011 after conclusion of preliminary design project.© David Chipperfield Architects
Below: Extension Kunsthaus Zürich. Longitudinal section showing connection to existing building Status: 2011 after conclusion of preliminary design project. © David Chipperfield Architects

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Extension Kunsthaus Zürich, Contents of the New Kunsthaus. Status: 2011 after conclusion of preliminary design project. Graphics: Büro4, Zurich.

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Extension Kunsthaus Zürich. View from Seilergraben across Heimplatz along the new sandstone façade. Status: 2011 after conclusion of preliminary design project
© David Chipperfield Architects

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Extension Kunsthaus Zürich . View of the art garden with the second entrance
Status: 2011 after conclusion of preliminary design project. © David Chipperfield Architects

The façade of the extension building will have an elegant texture constituted of a combination of transparent and opaque layers; marked by vertical ribs made in the same type of sandstone originally adopted by Karl Moser.

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Extension Kunsthaus Zürich. View through the entrance hall. Status: 2011 after conclusion of preliminary design project © David Chipperfield Architects

The new exhibition galleries are varied in shape and dimension so to be suitable to the display of artworks from various periods and of different size as well as to facilitate the visitors’ orientation.

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Extension Kunsthaus Zürich . Collection rooms for art created since 1960 on the first floor
Status: 2011 after conclusion of preliminary design project.© David Chipperfield Architects


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