Across from the Kunsthaus Zurich’s main museum building, a major new SFr206m ($223m) extension has opened, housing the collection of classic modernism, the Bührle collection, temporary exhibitions and art from 1960 onwards.
The new building was designed by David Chipperfield, and sits on the northern side of Heimplatz Square opposite the original 1910 Moser building. It connects with the existing Kunsthaus via an underground tunnel.
Chipperfield’s goal was to turn Heimplatz Square into an urban hub for arts and education in a move that Zurich’s authorities hope will see the city rival Basel as a destination for art lovers.
A large central entrance hall – reportedly inspired by Tate Modern’s Turbine Hall – creates a link between the square and the new Garden of Art sculpture garden to the north of the site, which features pieces by Pipilotti Rist and Auguste Rodin.
The art is displayed on the two upper floors of the new building, while the public functions, including the cafe/bar, events hall, museum shop and museum education services are arranged around the entrance hall on the ground floor.
According to the architects, “The diversely dimensioned exhibition spaces are defined by a calm materiality and an abundance of daylight, placing the immediate experience of art at the centre of the visitor experience.”
“The project for the extension of Kunsthaus Zurich brings together the fundamental concerns of museum design with the responsibilities created by both the urban context and the relationship with the existing museum,” explains David Chipperfield.
“We hope that the quality of the architecture, its spatial, formal and material resolution will guarantee that the extension, like Karl Moser’s original building, becomes an integral part of the physical, social and cultural infrastructure of the city of Zurich."