David Chipperfield Architects
David Chipperfield Architects complete the expansion of the museum, which contains one of most important art collections in Switzerland.
The Kunsthaus is a 1910 building located at Heimplatz, in the center of Zurich. Unlike the previous expansions, this one does not add itself to the preexisting ensemble, but rises on the other side of Heimplatz, and connects to the rest of the museum complex through an underground gallery. The bold rectangular volume gives coherence to an urban space that used to be unclear, and blends with it through a facade clad in the Jura limestone that is typical of architecture in the region. Hand in hand with the neighboring Schauspielhaus, the three volumes form a new ‘threshold to the arts’: the start of a mile-long cultural walk leading to the university grounds in the north part.
The new extension building is conceived as a block that closes the northern border of Heimplatz, and which on the other side delimits an urban garden capable of accommodating different artistic interventions. This was a cue to arrange the museum’s ground level around a large central corridor that bridges both areas. Accessible to the general public, this gallery strengthens the institution’s relationship with the city, and the large windows at its far ends help to visually connect the museum to the surroundings and integrate it into the environs. The more public parts of the program are laid out around this new civic space, while the exhibition halls take up the two upper stories.