Würth Haus Rorschach

A greenish crystalline building responds to the unusual location of the site, set between the edge of Lake Constance and Churerstrasse. Walkers and passers-by experience a glass structure that oscillates between transparency and shiny reflective surfaces that multiply the natural beauty of the setting. The architecture affords views out to the surroundings, glimpses into the building, and sightlines through it to the park and lake.

The interior offers staff and visitors generously proportioned sequences of rooms - workspaces, communication areas, and leisure zones - as well as providing space for product presentations and art exhibitions. The structure responds to the train station building with lower volumes and reacts to the expanses of the park and lake with a higher segment. There are plans to add an extension on the eastern side in a future phase of construction. Toward the street, the volumes give shape to a range of external spaces through precisely defined projections and setbacks: in the middle is the entrance area, to the east the vehicle access and workshop zone, and to the west Bahnhofsplatz, the station square, which is expanded toward the lake. Maple trees set in a perpendicular configuration characterize this space, and also continue as rows along Churerstrasse.

Approaching from the station, a broad canopy signals the main entrance. The various user groups - visitors, people attending courses, and company staff - enter the building through a large lobby and are guided from this point to the different parts of the building. On the ground floor and first floor, the public functions - training and conference rooms, as well as the restaurant - are grouped around a foyer with an open courtyard in the center and are linked by a sweeping stairway. Both the conference area and the separate exhibition spaces can be accessed directly from the exterior, allowing the option of using these areas independently from the rest of the building. The exhibition area guides visitors from the entrance to two different-sized exhibition rooms, which are located on the first floor of the southern part of the building and are naturally lit from above. The structure of the shed skylight over the exhibition spaces simultaneously supports the enormous projecting canopy over the entrance. Office space extends over four stories in the highest part of the building, which is not open to the general public. Informal meeting areas with balconies facing the lake, transparent or closed-off meeting rooms, and individual offices alternate here with open-plan office areas.

A double glass envelope encases the building. The inner layer is made up of triple glazing and metal-clad thermal insulation. The external, back-ventilated layer is composed of offset greenish glass panes equipped with a fine mesh insert with a metallic luster. This creates a rhythmically articulated glass curtain that provides protection against wind from the lake and noise from the street and also against excessive heat and cold. The predominance of glass in the building materials is continued on the roof in the form of CIS photovoltaic panels.

Location Rorschach, Switzerland

Programme Administration Building with Training and Conference Centre, 630-seat auditorium, museum, restaurant, cafeteria, hardware-shop, workshops

Competition 2009, 1st Prize

Planning/Construction 2009–2013

Client Würth International AG, Chur
Owner's representative: Walter Dietsche Baumanagement AG, Chur

Gross Floor Area 32'200 m2

Team G/G Planning/Construction: Christian Maggioni (Team Manager), Matthias Clivio (Project Manager), Nicolai Rünzi, Christoph Lay, Katja Fröhlich, Rus Carnicero, Yvonne Grunwald, Martin Schneider, Michael Kloiber, Brigitte Rüdel, Franziska Bächer
Competition: Luisa Wittgen, Nicolai Rünzi, Bettina Gerhold, Thomas Möckel, Matthias Clivio

Construction Management Walter Dietsche Baumanagement AG, Chur

Landscape Architecture Atelier Girot, Gockhausen

Structural Engineer Dr. Lüchinger Meyer Bauingenieure AG, Zurich

Electrical Engineer Bühler + Scherler AG, St.Gallen

Building Services Engineer Waldhauser Haustechnik AG, Basel

Building Physics Engineer Kopitsis Bauphysik AG, Wohlen

Fire Engineer Makiol + Wiederkehr, Beinwil am See

MSR Boxler MSRL Engineering, Jona

Ventilation Engineer Waldhauser Haustechnik AG, Basel

Acoustical Engineer Müller-BBM GmbH, Planegg, Germany

Daylighting Consultant Institut für Tageslichttechnik Stuttgart, Germany

Lighting Consultant Licht Zentrale, Nürnberg, Germany

Plumbing Tomaschett + Cioce AG, Rorschach

Facade Reba Fassadentechnik AG, Chur

Signage Trix Wetter, Zurich

Colours (partial) Harald F. Müller, Oehningen, Germany

Photos © Thies Wachter
© Shinkenchiku-sha, Tokyo

Address Churerstrasse 10, CH – 9400 Rorschach

Visitors Center Museum Kalkriese

Added later to the Archaeological Museum and Park Kalkriese, the visitors center now marks its entrance. The ground floor houses the reception desk, museum shop, and a children’s museum, while a multifunctional hall upstairs can be used as a large exhibition gallery or subdivided into smaller spaces by means of mobile partitions for use as meeting or conference facilities. Large windows on both sides offer views outdoors. The building is clad all around in facing bricks. The previous farmstead and the new building are united into a coherent ensemble by the material nature of their façades and together form an inviting courtyard.

 

 

Location Osnabrück, Germany

Programme Entrance building to the archaeological museum park Kalkriese: foyer, museum’s shop, museum for children, exhibition space with flexible use for events and seminars with up to 7 separable rooms, storage spaces, kitchen for catering

Competition 2005, 1st Prize

Planning/Construction 2006–2009

Client Varusschlacht im Osnabrücker Land gGmbH
Museum und Park Kalkriese, Germany

Gross Floor Area 1‘778 m2

Team G/G Planning/Construction: Michael Winklmann (Team Manager), Christoph Justies (Project Manager)
Competition: Volker Mencke

Structural Engineer Competition: Dr. Lüchinger + Meyer Bauingenieure AG, Zurich
Planning/Construction: pbr Planungsbüro Rohling AG, Osnabrück, Germany

Electrical Engineer Jacobi + Richter Elektro- und Fördertechnik, Osnabrück, Germany

Building Services Engineer pbr Planungsbüro Rohling AG, Osnabrück, Germany

Building Physics Engineer Ingenieurbüro für angewandte Bauphysik, Osnabrück, Germany

Exhibition Design neo.studio, Berlin, Germany

Photos © Klemens Ortmeyer

Award BDA-Preis Niedersachsen, Landesverband des Bundes Deutscher Architekten, 2003
Deutscher Stahlbaupreis, 2002

Swiss Museum of Transport – Road Transport Hall

The concept for the new Road Transport Hall differs from the first design during the 1999 competition. Originally conceived as a three-story building with concrete shear walls, a load-bearing, glazed façade construction, and bridge-like ramps on the exterior, the new building is to have two stories, be more economical, and in particular offer greater flexibility. It is an exhibition building that in its rudimentary simplicity and as “dark-gray black box” is reminiscent of those buildings countrywide that are designed for the storage and housing of cars, i.e. multi-level parking garages and automobile repair shops. An automated parking system is employed here; a shelf-like structure operated by a mechanical lift displays the collection of cars densely positioned one above the other and out of reach. At the touch of a button, visitors can move one of the cars forward to look at it close up. The open areas on the first two levels provide space for running temporary theme-based exhibitions. A workshop shows the visitors how the vehicles are maintained and repaired.

The façade cladding of the mainly closed building volume is composed of sheet metal in differing formats and colors. Instead of standard façade sheeting, however, or metal from car bodies (as envisaged during the preliminary project), sheet-metal traffic signs have been recycled here: highway signs, guidance and information signs, warning signs, marker signs, and place-name signs. The signboard walls, which spatially delimit the Road Transport Hall, indirectly refer to the great freedom of mobility afforded by private transport, which is directed and regulated with the help of such boards. Furthermore, they also refer to numerous locations near and far that might be the home towns and cities of the visitors, who arrive via diverse traffic routes and using different modes of transport in order to discover more about the subject here. On the rear façade, toward  the neighboring buildings, the signs are reverse-mounted, which means that the printed side faces the building while the untreated, metal side faces outward. Thus, the neighbors see these boards just as road users would see the signs meant for the oncoming traffic – from the back.

Location Lucerne, Switzerland

Programme Exhibition building for cars, motorcycles, lorries and bicylces; Facade cladding composed of traffic signboards, placename and instructional signage

Competition 1999, 1st Prize

Planning/Construction 2005–2009

Client Swiss Museum of Transport, Lucerne

Gross Floor Area 3'372 m2

Team G/G Caspar Bresch (Team and Project Manager), Mark Ziörjen, Damien Andenmatten, Gaby Kägi, Gilbert Isermann

Total Contractor Karl Steiner AG, Lucerne

Landscape Architecture Schweingruber Zulauf Landschaftsarchitekten, Zurich

Structural Engineer Henauer Gugler AG, Lucerne

Electrical Engineer Scherler AG, Lucerne

Building Services Engineer Wirthensohn AG, Lucerne

Exhibition Design Consultants: Lars Müller, Baden and Peter Regli, Zurich

Photos © Heinrich Helfenstein

Address Lidostrasse 5, CH–6006 Lucerne, Switzerland

Award Auszeichnung guter Baukultur Kanton Luzern 2005–2016, Anerkennung

Préau des Enfants

Location Mouans-Sartoux, France

Programme Exhibition pavilion, children's studio

Planning/Construction 2003

Client Ville de Mouans-Sartoux
Funding: Michael Hilti and Gottfried Honegger

Team G/G Gilles Dafflon (Project Manager), Leander Morf

Contact architects BET G.L. Ingénierie, Nice, France

Structural Engineer Dr. Lüchinger + Meyer, Zurich

Photos © Serge Demailly

Remodeling of the Kunstmuseum Basel and Laurenzbau Library

The expansion of the Kunstmuseum Basel into the neighboring former bank building enabled important improvements to be made to the spatial organization of the museum building and allowed additional exhibition space to be created. Both historic buildings – the Kunstmuseum, constructed in 1936 by the architects Rudolf Christ and Paul Bonatz, and the Laurenzbau, formerly home to the Nationalbank and built in 1926 by the architects Suter & Burckhardt – were in need of structural modifications in several areas in order to fulfill their new functions. The plan to build an extension for temporary exhibitions, as considered during the 2001 competition, was abandoned.

The character and extent of the various restructuring measures ranged from the creation of new spatial relationships to the reconstruction of original conditions, and also included light restorative retouching. The reconstruction work was carried out in various stages in order not to disrupt the functioning of the museum.

In the museum building, the former library rooms were converted into exhibition spaces and a bistro. Large new display cases, doors, and windows in the arcades open up the museum to the street and provide a welcoming countenance for museum visitors and restaurant clients. A gray sandstone staircase and ramp rises from the red-gray veined sandstone flooring of the arcades and leads to the entrance of the new bistro. The narrow former library hallway now functions as the bistro’s dining area. Sitting on the elongated leather sofa, the guests look through the glazed doors at the comings and goings in the great sculpture and entrance court. In the adjoining bar, the focal point is the bar itself, which is made of highly polished brass. This treatment of the material produces a striking contrast to the matt, dark brown tones of the related material, architectural bronze, used for the windows and doors - this is true of both the historic elements and the new additions.

The gallery encircling the small courtyard and the high entrance hall were only gently renovated, with all interventions designed to restore the hall’s function as the central starting point and orientation area for all visitor services. The few modifications to this space included a light wash of paint, new lighting, and the island-like placement of the ticket desk. Freeing up the gallery around the small courtyard on the ground floor represents a further important strategy in this reconstruction project. This gallery corridor was historically used as an exhibition space, but over the years it has also accommodated a cafe and cloakroom. Provided with new lighting, freshly stuccoed walls and ceilings, and a reduced number of door openings, the gallery now forms a generous exhibition space for contemporary sculpture and reliefs.

Location Basel, Switzerland

Programme New spatial organisation, various remodelling measures and reconstruction of the Art Museum and Laurenzbau; conversion of the former library in the Art Museum into exhibition spaces and a bistro, refurbishment of the copper-engraving cabinet; renovation of the entry hall and the sculpture gallery, remodeling of the Laurenzbau into a library/reading room

Competition 2001, 1st Prize (Extension and Reconstruction)

Planning/Construction 2003–2007 in four phases (Reconstruction without Extension)

Client Building and Planning Office, Main Building Division
Construction Department of Canton Basel City

Gross Floor Area 6‘500 m2

Team G/G Planning/Construction: Christian Maggioni (Project Manager), Florian Isler
Competition: Barbara Schlauri, Sergej Klammer, Christof Bhend

Construction Management Annette Gigon / Mike Guyer Architects, Zurich
Collaborator: Thomas Hochstrasser

Structural Engineer Rapp Infra AG, Basel

Electrical Engineer Elektrizitäts AG, Basel

Building Services Engineer Aicher, De Martin, Zweng AG, Lucerne

Furnishings Annette Gigon / Mike Guyer Architects, Zurich
with Hannes Wettstein, Zurich

Photos © Heinrich Helfenstein

Award Bautenprämierung des Heimatschutz Basel, 2007

Remodeling of the Kunstmuseum Basel

Laurenzbau Library

Donation Albergs-Honegger Espace de l’Art Concret

The new museum for the Espace de l’Art Concret (EAC) was built on the occasion of the donation of the Albers-Honegger Art Collection, parts of which had been displayed since the 1990s on a rotational basis in the castle of Mouans-Sartoux. The castle rooms will mainly be used for temporary exhibitions in the future. The new museum is the second freestanding annex on the castle grounds, following a children’s painting studio called the Espace Art, Recherche, Imagination designed by architect Marc Barani. A third small building, the Préau des Enfants, was erected shortly after the museum. Both are set in a steeply sloping wooded area within the surrounding park.

The museum building’s minimal, square-shaped ground plan and its tower-like structure with cantilevered elements made it possible to insert it into the wooded site with as little disruption to the existing trees as possible. Its position on a slope enables ground-level access at various building levels. A projecting section forms both the entrance to the museum and a bridge to the path outside. The access area for the public conference space and for deliveries also projects from the main volume of the building.

The museum entrance is elevated half a story above the first exhibition level. The galleries, connected by open stairs, are arranged at half-story level and form a spiral tour through the building. Two closed, sky-lit staircases serve as escape routes and also offer visitors a short path back to the entrance after finishing their tour. In addition to the lift, these staircases form an interior vertical connection between the conference space and the other rooms on the lower levels.

The arrangement of the galleries along the façades, the lateral lighting via the windows, and particularly the proportions of the spaces recall those of a large home rather than resembling a classic museum. Although the windows do not provide the even illumination often thought desirable in galleries, this solution meets the express wishes of the donors, who wanted natural light that would enable the works of art to engage in a vivid dialogue with the world outside and to be seen under a variety of lighting conditions. The windows are placed at differing heights in the galleries. Double-paned and resembling box-type windows, the outer pane of glass is affixed to the exterior of the façade to offer primary protection from wind and rain, while the inner pane, which can be opened, provides thermal insulation. Between the two windows, and thus shielded from the weather, fabric blinds afford protection from the sun. The blinds can be closed if desired, transforming the windows into sources of pure light, like glowing panels.

The building is constructed of poured concrete, which is painted a light yellowgreen, in anticipation of the moss and algae that the nearby trees will eventually cause to cover it. Intriguingly, this color generates two diametrically opposed effects. On the one hand, it glows in contrast to the surroundings; on the other, it forms a harmonious background for the changing colors of the trees.

The donors’ commitment to art education is expressed again in the nearby Préau des Enfants, an open concrete structure in the forest where the children’s drawings and painting studies are exhibited.

Location Mouans-Sartoux, France

Programme Museum, 14 exhibition spaces, entry hall, conference room, offices and secondary rooms

Competition 1999, 1st Prize

Planning/Construction 2001–2003

Client Ville de Mouans-Sartoux, France
Etat, Ville, Conseil Régional PACA, France
Conseil Général des Alpes-Maritimes, France

Gross Floor Area 1’829 m2

Team G/G Planning/Construction: Gilles Dafflon (Project Manager)
Competition: Eva Geering, Dalila Chebbi

Construction Management BET G.L. Ingénierie, Nice, France

Structural Engineer BET G.L. Ingénierie, Nice, France
Preliminary Design: Dr. Lüchinger + Meyer Bauingenieure AG, Zurich

Electrical Engineer BET G.L. Ingénierie, Nice, France
Preliminary Design: Elkom Partner AG, Chur

Building Services Engineer BET G.L. Ingénierie, Nice, France
Preliminary Design: 3-Plan Haustechnik AG, Winterthur

Photos © Serge Demailly
© André Morin

Archaeological Museum and Park Kalkriese

Due to numerous archeological finds, the site in the northwestern part of Germany near Kalkriese is considered to be the location of the famous Battle of the Teutoburg Forest / Varus Battle between the Romans and Germanic tribes in the year 9 AD.

The interventions, the architectural means employed and the landscape design, are minimal and primarily abstract. A few measures spark the visitor’s imagination of the events that took place in this landscape: the visualization of the former rampart with iron poles, trees cleared away and reforestation, a partial “reconstruction” of the former, lower terrain, three pavilions as well as three path systems on the grounds. Irregularly placed large iron slabs retrace the possible route of the Roman Legions and form a path for visitors to access the former battlefield. A net-like pattern of wood-chip paths symbolizes the positions of the Germanic warriors, their camouflage, their silent attack. Contemporary agricultural gravel paths allow visitors to “switch sides”. Proceeding from one iron slab to the next on the so called “Roman path”, visitors collect pieces of information from the ground, not unlike archeological work. Step by step, an image of the historical battle forms in their minds.

Location Osnabrück, Germany

Programme 20 hectares former agricultural parcel “marked” as location of the famous “Battle of the Teutoburg Forest” (9 AD): 3 path systems of paths, visualization of presumed course of ramparts, forest clearance/reforestation, partial “reconstruction” of former landscape; construction of a new museum building with viewing platform 40 m in height; 3 pavilions: “Seeing”, “Hearing”, “Questioning”; conversion of former farmstead into visitor center with restaurant, shop, children’s museum and offices

Competition 1998, 1st Prize
in collaboration with Zulauf Seippel Schweingruber Landscapearchitects, Baden

Planning/Construction 1999–2002

Client Varusschlacht im Osnabrücker Land GmbH
Museum and Park Kalkriese, Germany

Gross Floor Area 2‘290 m2 (Museum and Pavilions)

Team G/G Planning/Construction: Volker Mencke (Project Manager), Caspar Bresch, Christian Brunner, Massimo Wüthrich
Competition: Markus Lüscher

Construction Management pbr Planungsbüro Rohling AG, Osnabrück, Germany

Landscape Architecture Planning/Construction: Zulauf Seippel Schweingruber, Landschaftsarchitekten, Baden
Construction Manager: Heimer + Herbstreit, Hildesheim, Germany

Structural Engineer Gantert + Wiemeler Ingenieurplanung, Münster, Germany

Exhibition Design Integral Concept, Paris/Baden: Ruedi Baur (1st Exhibition concept Museum), Lars Müller (Exhibition concept pavilions)

Photos © Heinrich Helfenstein
© Klemens Ortmeyer

Award BDA-Preis Niedersachsen, Landesverband Bund Deutscher Architekten, 2003
Deutscher Stahlbaupreis, 2003
Weser-Ems-Preis für Architektur und Ingenieurbau, 2001

Museum

Landscape

Pavilion «Seeing»

Pavilion «Hearing»

Pavilion «Questioning»

Kunstmuseum Appenzell

formerly: Museum Liner Appenzell

The museum building, dedicated to the oeuvre of Appenzell artists Carl August Liner and his son Carl Walter Liner, belongs to the category of the monographic museum. However, the rooms are not designed to house particular paintings by either of these two artists, but rather, are dimensioned to accommodate changing presentations of the work of father and son as well as exhibitions of contemporary art. The rooms are therefore more general than specific in nature. They are quiet, simple spaces that seek neither to exaggerate nor to compete with the works of art. They show a minimum of detail, have bright walls, poured concrete floors, and are illuminated by daylight coming in through windows set in the gabled roof overhead.

The dimensions of the rooms are relatively small to provide a concentrated and focused ambience for the individual paintings. The total exhibition area is divided into ten rooms, each measuring between 30 and 50 m2 in size. The varying size of the rooms is generated by an asymmetrically positioned wall running the length of the building as well as intersecting axes that define the spaces in decreasing size from south to north. The alignment of the doorways from room to room may be straight or shifted, allowing visitors to follow a direct or a meandering course through the museum. Two windows offer a view outdoors and facilitate orientation within the building. A small reading room and a room for slide and video presentations are placed at the north end of the building - that is, in the middle of the museum tour. The architectural opener for visitors is the spacious lobby with a counter for tickets and sales. As the first and largest room in the museum, it also functions as a place for receptions and lectures.

The building is constructed using in-situ concrete and aerated concrete masonry. Due to the massive construction and the north-orientated roof-lights only minimal climate control is necessary in the galleries. The vestibule projecting from the building volumetry is made of exposed concrete, illustrating the materiality and compactness of the construction on the exterior.

The illumination of the exhibition spaces, whose gables vary in height and breath, results in a 'zigzag form’ in the building volumetry. It reminds one, in a distant way, of the rows of gable roof buildings in the Appenzell villages, as well as of the more regular sawtooth roof forms of industrial and agricultural buildings. The roofs are clad in sandblasted sheets of stainless steel in order, on the one hand, to attain a diffusion of the reflected light, while on the other hand, a neutrality of the colour temperature. The facades are clad in the same material. The overlapping cladding and its shimmering grey colour show a distant resemblance to traditional Appenzell architecture with its shingled facades (and roofs that were once shingled as well) weathered to a silvery grey. The combination of facade and roofing in the same material produces an overall, irregular volume, like a small mountain range against the background of the Alpstein massif.

Location Appenzell, Switzerland

Programme 12 connected exhibition spaces, each measuring 30–50 m2, reading and media room, lobby with cloakroom; offices, technical and storage spaces

Commission 1996

Planning/Construction 1996–1998

Client Stiftung Museum Carl Liner Vater und Sohn

Gross Floor Area 1‘644 m2

Team G/G Annette Gigon, Mike Guyer, Urs Birchmeier (Project Manager)

Construction Management Annette Gigon / Mike Guyer Architects, Zurich
Collaborator: Daniel Kaufmann

Landscape Architecture Kienast Vogt Partner, Zurich

Structural Engineer Aerni + Aerni Ingenieure AG, Zurich

Electrical Engineer Elkom Partner AG, Chur

Building Services Engineer Waldhauser Haustechnik AG, St.Gallen

Daylighting Consultant Institut für Tageslichttechnik Stuttgart, Germany

Lighting Consultant Lichtdesign Ingenieurgesellschaft mbH, Cologne, Germany

Signage Trix Wetter, Zurich

Photos © Heinrich Helfenstein
© Gaston Wicky

Award Mies van der Rohe Award for European Architecture, 1999 – Finalist

Renovation and Extension Oskar Reinhart Collection «Am Römerholz»

With the addition and alterations to the ‘Römerholz Villa’, the building once again undergoes a transformation. In 1915, the Geneva architect Maurice Turrettini, commissioned by then-owner Heinrich Ziegler-Sulzer, erected the building in the style of a French Renaissance country house. In 1924 Oskar Reinhart purchased the house and commissioned the same architect to build a gallery addition to accomodate his growing art collection. After his death in 1965, Oskar Reinhart bequeathed the building with its internationally prominent collection to the Swiss Confederation. After extensive alterations in 1970, the ground floor of the residential part of the building and the gallery spaces were made accessible to the public as a museum. The most recent alteration and renovation work can be traced to changing requirements with regard to lighting, operations and security that are required of contemporary museum spaces. Priority is laid therein upon the improved presentation of the high-quality works of art.

The architectonic means used to satisfy the varied requirements range from the replacement of two existing exhibition spaces with newly constructed ones, to simple renovation work, up to near-complete restoration of the historical spatial disposition and materials. Hence, the commission divides itself into a plethora of differentiated interventions. This includes, for example, the spatial separation of the entrance space from the cloak room, in order to create more space for receiving guests; the restoration of the spatial arrangement in the former dining room; the reconstruction of former windows in order to illuminate certain sculptures; the reconstruction of the earlier parquet flooring in the gallery spaces; as well as the addition of etched panes of glass hung before the lantern skylight of the large gallery and the installation of sensor controlled louvers to regulate the light intensity.

The most far reaching changes are the three new exhibition spaces that mark the transition between the former residence and the gallery area. Corresponding to the works on display, the three spaces possess various sizes and proportions. The larger room is to house oil paintings, while the two smaller rooms are planned to display light sensitive graphic works. All three spaces are naturally lit; electronically regulated louvers lessen the intensity of the light. The skylights on the ceiling have the appearance of glowing lit panels and distribute light evenly into the space.

On the exterior, the new exhibition halls with their recessed skylights appear as closed, step-tapered volumes in concrete. Akin to a joint placed between the residence and the gallery wing, they terminate the entrance court on its shorter side. Like the existing gallery wing, the roof surfaces are covered with copper sheet. Large, pre-fabricated concrete elements form the cladding of the walls and the recessed skylight lanterns. Jura limestone and copper, two of the primary materials of the existing villa, were mixed into the concrete as powdered ingredients. The limestone and the copper powder in combination lead to a quick acting oxidation and to a green shift in colouration of the concrete. As water, enriched by copper ions, drains from the roof, the colouration process of the façade will increase over time. By virtue of this accelerated patinisation, the new building should make a kind of ‘journey through time’ towards the two, older, historic building elements - in the sense of an ‘alchemistic’ adaptation of the new building to the genius loci.

Location Winterthur, Switzerland

Programme Renovation and remodelling existing Villa «Römerholz»: Entrance area, exhibition rooms, café
New building: exhibition spaces

Competition 1993, 1st Prize

Planning/Construction 1995–1998

Client Federal Office for Construction and Logistics, Bern

Gross Floor Area 136 m2 (three new build exhibition spaces)
Net Internal Area (SIA 416): 1‘000 m2 (total renovated exhibition space)

Team G/G Planning/Construction: Andreas Sonderegger (Project Manager), Markus Jandl, René Kümmerli
Competition: Raphael Frei, Michael Widrig, Judith Brändle

Landscape Architecture Kienast Vogt Partner, Zurich

Electrical Engineer Elkom Partner AG, Chur

Building Services Engineer Waldhauser Haustechnik AG, St.Gallen

Daylighting Consultant Institut für Tageslichttechnik Stuttgart, Germany

Lighting Consultant Lichtdesign Ingenieurgesellschaft mbH, Cologne, Germany

Signage Trix Wetter, Zurich

Photos © Andrea Helbling
© Harald F. Müller

Extension of Kunstmuseum Winterthur

The expansion of the Museum of Art in Winterthur, long planned and now realised in the form of a provisional structure, creates the spatial conditions to not only house temporary exhibitions, but also to be able to permanently present the extensive collection of the Kunstverein.

The new building is connected to the museum spaces of Rittmeyer & Furrer’s existing building by a bridge. The exhibition rooms of the addition are simple, rectangular spaces with sawtooth skylights facing north. By means of a simple grid the basic area measuring approximately 1,000 square metres is divided into spaces that vary in both size and proportion. During the tour through the rooms one enters the individual spaces at different locations, creating the impression for visitors of a subtle, spatial differentiation. Three large windows offer the possibility of an outward glance and orientation. Corresponding to the budget-related industrial-like manner in which the building is constructed and illuminated, the floor plan layout, void of circulation spaces, is also very economical and rational. The single storey nature of the museum allows – besides the illumination of all spaces with zenithal light – a flexible combination of the rooms with the various works of art.

The project aims to avoid a makeshift impression within the exhibition rooms, whilst obeying as far as possible the rules of a temporary structure in terms of design and material qualities. This understanding stipulates a layered, two-ply construction: common, long-lasting and - as far as possible - jointless materials in the interior spaces, and additive, recyclable elements that can be quickly mounted or de-mounted for construction, insulation and cladding. Hence, the interior of the building is largely built as a solid into the load-bearing, lightweight steel construction. Gypsum masonry forms large-surface, jointless walls, and a poured, floating granolithic concrete floor serves to accommodate heavy loads.

The building is insulated with standardised, steel sheet C-profiles filled with insulation batts. The C-profiles are mounted between the vertical members of the steel construction. The underside of the museum floor and the facades are insulated with these galvanised, perforated panels. They are protected from the weather by sheets of galvanised metal on the roof and vertical rows of glass profiles on the facades. The same glass profiles, set apart with open joints in between, serve on the ground floor to illuminate and ventilate the parking spaces, while they simultaneously “ground” the museum building, which seemingly hovers above the garage.

Location Winterthur, Switzerland

Programme 9 exhibition spaces, connection to the existing museum by a bridge, parking space on the open ground floor

Competition 1993, 1st Prize

Planning/Construction 1994–1995

Client Kunstverein Winterthur

Gross Floor Area 2'364 m2

Team G/G Planning/Construction: Michael Widrig (Project Manager), Stefan Gasser
Competition: Michael Widrig

Structural Engineer Branger & Conzett AG, Chur

Building Services Engineer Waldhauser Haustechnik AG, Basel

Daylighting Consultant Institut für Tageslichttechnik Stuttgart, Germany

Lighting Consultant Lichtdesign Ingenieurgesellschaft mbH, Cologne, Germany

Photos © Heinrich Helfenstein

Award Mies van der Rohe Award for European Architecture – Finalist, 1997