The impressive site in a district in Solduno consisting largely of small single-family houses includes both a large, extremely steep slope that extends to the edge of the woods on the hill above and also a slightly raised, level area with some fine mature trees. The former house of the artist Hans Arp and his second wife Marguerite Arp-Hagenbach – today the seat of the Fondazione Marguerite Arp Hagenbach – is an L-shaped building that stands in the flat south-eastern area, whereas the new building is at the western edge of the plot. Both buildings lie at the foot of the hill; between them stretches a picturesque garden with tall, dark trees.
Due, on the one hand, to the potential threat of falling rocks and landslides posed to the depot by the steep slope at the rear and the climatic conditions in the warm region of Ticino on the other, this small building is very robustly constructed and well insulated. The load-bearing structure is of reinforced concrete and the external walls are made of two layers of concrete. The entrance and the two windows face away from the slope. Above the openings areas of the concrete facade project outwards and protect them. Double windows with sun blinds in the naturally ventilated space between the inner and outer window facilitate the regulation of natural light in all wind conditions.
The two-storey new building contains depots and work spaces at street level and an exhibition space for the artworks of the collection on the first floor. A straight-flight stairs and a lift lead to the upper level. The simple, rectangular exhibition space has white walls and a concrete floor and is lit by artificial light as well as by a generously dimensioned window that also offers visitors a view of the garden in the direction of the artist’s house.