Swiss National Museum to open long-awaited scuptural extension

A museum extension nearly 15 years in the making will finally be completed when the Swiss National Museum in Zurich opens its new wing to the public on 1 August 2016.

The new wing is formed by a modern and minimalist geometric volume designed by Basel practice Christ & Gantenbein. It was commissioned following an international design competition in 2002, but a period of consultation and political negotiation followed and full construction work did not begin until a decade later.

The new wing is directly coupled with the original U-shaped building – designed by architect Gustav Gull and opened in 1898 adjacent to the city’s Platzspitz Park – to create a single loop and form “an architectural ensemble of urban space.”

The towers and spires on the roof of the old building set the theme of the new structure, which features expressive folds in its rooftop, and its strong stone walls are echoed in the new wing’s 80cm thick walls. The similarities continue with the use of tuff concrete in the extension to reflect the facade of the old building, and polished concrete floors which provide a modern interpretation of the original’s decorative terrazzo floors.

“As different as the new and old buildings are, their similarities and shared architectural attributes are abundantly apparent and serve to create a unity of old and new,” said the architects in a statement.

Facilities housed in the 7,400sq m (79,600sq ft) extension include a library, an auditorium for public events, a bridge spanning across a new garden and inner courtyard, and exhibition space housed in concrete halls inspired by the city’s factories.

An official opening celebration will take place in July 2016, coinciding with the completion of remodelling to the original building – which will see the museum’s foyer, shop and restaurant renovated and a new public plaza added near the entrance.

The total cost of new wing and renovations is CHF111m (US$109m, €100m, £76m).

The client was the Federal Office for Buildings and Logistics, the general contractor was ARGE Generalplaner SLM Proplaning and the landscape designer was Vogt Landschaftsarchitekten.

The first events hosted in the new halls will be Europe in the Renaissance, exploring “new horizons in thinking, transformations and cultural interaction over great distances and time”, and an exhibition exploring Switzerland’s archaeological heritage.

Despite the ongoing renovation and construction work, the Swiss National Museum received 230,527 visitors in 2015, a record for admissions.

After the new wing is opened, renovation work will begin on the historic west wing and tower. The museum will finally open in its entirety in 2020.

Architecture  design  concrete  Swiss National Museum  Zurich  Christ and Gantebein  
Related stories
16 Jun 2014

BIG wins contest to design bespoke watch museum in Switzerland

11 Jun 2014

Zürich Zoo opens its CHF57m elephant 'aquarium'

10 Jan 2014

Olympic Museum back in business after $61m renovation

A museum extension nearly 15 years in the making will finally be completed when the Swiss National Museum in Zurich opens its new wing to the public on 1 August 2016. The new wing is formed by a modern and minimalist geometric volume designed by Basel practice Christ & Gantenbein. It was commissioned following an international design competition in 2002, but a period of consultation and political negotiation followed and
The design for the wing was commissioned in 2002 / Roman Keller
More news
News stories: 1 - 30 of 7785     
News stories: 1 - 30 of 7785     
company profile
Company profile: bbspa_Group
In an extremely competitive world where clients have ever increasing demands, creating a successful wellness and spa project is more and more complex. To help you differentiate yourself and protect your investments, we founded bbspa_Group, a global consulting company dedicated to wellness and spa projects, which puts the focus on your success.
Try cladmag for free!
Sign up with CLAD to receive our regular ezine, instant news alerts, free digital subscriptions to CLADweek, CLADmag and CLADbook and to request a free sample of the next issue of CLADmag.
sign up
The site has been designed to create a wind tunnel to ventilate the library’s open air spaces
"Like other cultural institutions, libraries provide something that the internet cannot: genuine human interaction"

How excitingnewprojects arechanging theface oflibrarydesign

Champalimaud’s redesign of the Academy hotel in London was ‘subtly inspired’ by the Bloomsbury Set
Bakos joined Champalimaud in December 2012. He previously worked for the Rockwell Group
"Construction is one of the largest generators of landfill waste, so it is important to create spaces that transcend trends"

It’s time for a new approach to sustainability, argues Champalimaud’s managing director

The team worked eight hour days with 40 per cent oxygen during the four month windows the mountain allowed
"Heat and oxygen levels are adjusted by sensors in response to the number of people inside and their body temperature"

Designing a climbers’ refuge on Mont Blanc was anything but straightforward, but for Groupe H’s Nikolai Bersenev the challenges were what made the project so memorable

Catalogue Gallery
Click on a catalogue to view it online
To advertise in our catalogue gallery: call +44(0)1462 431385
Multiple vaults could be linked together to form flexible spaces; The pilot project is based in Rwanda; The project builds on Foster + Partners’ experience designing airports
The Norman Foster Foundation promotes ‘interdisciplinary thinking and research’
"The Droneport project is about doing more with less"

The Norman Foster Foundation presents the Droneport

The building extends out and over the waterfront, creating impressive views across the sea
"It will become one of the centres of reference for art in Europe - Inigo Sáenz de Miera, Botín Foundation"

Renzo Piano’s Santander art museum

Some 1,100 trees of 
23 different species will line the building façades
Stefano Boeri is working on a number of major green schemes in China
"We’re creating new spheres, where people, trees and animals can coexist in an environment of wellness"

On how the vertical forest model promotes wellness

Fabio Scacciavillani is chief economist for the Oman Investment Fund. He started his career working for the International Monetary Fund
"The region has a microclimate thanks to the monsoon, so the summer is cool and rainy"

The Oman Investment Fund’s chief economist talks us through plans to redefine Oman as a high end leisure and tourism destination

Victims’ names carved around the edge of the waterfalls at the Memorial Plaza
"We set out by saying that our intention was to reflect the present with the Memorial Pavilion, whereas the two waterfalls going into the footprints of the two towers reflect the past"

Creating the 9/11 Memorial Museum in New York involved meticulous planning. Its director Alice Greenwald tells us more

Marianne Shillingford
"The technology involved in paint is extraordinary"

Used cleverly, colour has the power to influence how people use the spaces they inhabit, says the creative director of Dulux

cladkit product news
Codelocks develops new glass door smart lock
The new lock model allows facilities and building managers to create and manage access via an app or online portal
Megan Whitby
Codelocks has launched its first glass door smart lock to bring intelligent access control to modern spa, leisure, fitness and ...
Alberto Apostoli designs tech-forward Wellness Therapy furniture collection for Varaschin
The furniture collection draws on absolute geometries, pure lines, neutral colours and strong references to nature
Megan Whitby
Furniture manufacturer Varaschin has unveiled the new Wellness Therapy range, designed by Italian spa and wellness architect and designer Alberto ...
CSI Design Expo Americas 2024 announces new Attractions & Entertainment Technology Zone
The event will allow buyers and suppliers to meet
Magali Robathan
Cruise Ship Interiors (CSI) invites cruise lines, shipyards, design studios, outfitters, and suppliers to take part in CSI Design Expo ...
cladkit product news
Siminetti unveils iridescent decorative panelling range inspired by plants
The Clematis design
Megan Whitby
The Botanicals is Siminetti’s newest Mother of Pearl decorative panelling collection, inspired by the distinctive patterns found in botany and ...
Eco Resort Network conference to convene in Mauritius this May
The event will be hosted in the Mauritius in 2024
Megan Whitby
Hospitality industry event Eco Resort Network is set to take place at the Ravenala Attitude Hotel, Turtle Bay, Mauritius, from ...
Eden project uses drones to spell out climate change warning
Magali Robathan
Almost 300 drones were used to signal an environmental message above the Eden Project’s biomes, during the UN Climate Change ...
cladkit product news
Koto Design introduces wood-fired hot tub
Koto is known for crafting modular, energy-neutral cabins and homes
Katie Barnes
A striking wood-fired hot tub has been unveiled by Koto, an architecture and design studio which has a passion for ...
Alberto Apostoli and Newform collaborate to launch the A.Zeta showerhead
The showerhead offers two modes; rainfall or waterfall
Megan Whitby
Italian architect Alberto Apostoli has renewed his partnership with Newform – an Italian wellness company – and designed A.Zeta. A.Zeta ...
Mather & Co and ITV unite to create Coronation Street Experience
Mather & Co has transformed the visitor centre into the ultimate haven for ardent Coronation Street viewers
Magali Robathan
Experience designers, Mather & Co, have orchestrated a remarkable collaboration with ITV to unveil the new Coronation Street Experience, a ...
Sign up with CLAD for regular news updates