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

Swiss Museum of Transport – Multi-purpose Building with Exhibition Hall and Offices

Location Lucerne, Switzerland

Programme Exhibition space, conference rooms, offices, shop

Commission 2017

Planning/Construction 2017–2023

Client Swiss Museum of Transport, Lucerne

Gross Floor Area 8'000 m2

Team G/G Planning/Construction: Christian Maggioni (Team Manager), Philippe Volpe (Project Manager), Chee Xu, Milica Brockmann

Construction Management Büro für Bauökonomie, Lucerne

Structural Engineer Schubiger AG Bauingenieure, Lucerne

Electrical Engineer Scherler AG, Lucerne

Building Physics Engineer RSP Bauphysik, Lucerne

Fire Engineer GRP Ingenieure, Lucerne

Visualization Indievisual, Zurich

Swiss Museum of Transport – Restaurant Pavilion

Demolished in 2008, replaced by the new Entrance Building

The entrance court to the Museum of Transportation is to be newly zoned and upgraded by replacing the former garden restaurant. The courtyard not only serves to provide access to the actual exhibition area; rather, it presents a kind of interstitial space that already offers certain attractions. With the Rigi ship on one side and the new High Flyer tethered balloon on the other side, the garden restaurant forms a center and invites visitors to pause and observe.

A steel construction with sliding, horizontal sun shading and rain shielding panels is “at least in part” the actual load-bearing structure of the pavilion. Thus, it is incorporated into the steel “megastructure”. Sheet metal panels form the cladding and allow the volume to be generously opened towards the outdoor seating area in the form of large sliding shutters. Both the steel structure and the sheet metal panels are galvanized, whereby the galvanization on the panels formed an iridescent, frost-pattern-like surface.

Approximately 200 persons can be accommodated beneath the sun shading sails. The traversable roof of the pavilion, from where one can enjoy a view of the nearby goings-on and a view into the further environs, can additionally expand this area.

A self-service restaurant with hot and cold meals, as well as a beverage and kiosk area, are to be found within the pavilion itself. The restaurant space forms a highly densified, functional unit together with the neighboring service rooms. The interior of the pavilion has been clad with light-green, enameled sheet metal panels in collaboration with the artist Harald F. Müller. Outside, the sheet metal tabletops painted light yellow respond to the radiant coloration of the interior space.

Large letters on the pavilion identify the place and the building. Hardy toasts for food and drink on the back side remind visitors to the Museum of Transportation that one can take refreshments out of this shiny “box” as needs be.

In 2008, the pavilion was sold and now stands as a residential studio on the roof of the St.Gallen Sitterwerk (conversion: Flury + Furrer Architects).

Location Lucerne, Switzerland

Programme Self-service restaurant, beverage and kiosk area, storage, terrace

Commission 1999

Planning/Construction 1999–2000

Client Swiss Museum of Transport, Lucerne

Gross Floor Area 117 m2

Team G/G Markus Seiler (Project Manager), Markus Lüscher, Caspar Bresch, Pieter Rabijns

Construction Management Sepp Zurfluh, Rothenburg

Landscape Architecture Christoph Fahrni, Lucerne

Structural Engineer Dr. Lüchinger + Meyer AG, Zurich
Ingenieurbüro B. Trachsel, Lucerne

Electrical Engineer Integral, Lucerne

Building Services Engineer Integral, Lucerne

Signage Trix Wetter, Zurich

Colours Harald F. Müller, Öhningen, Germany

Photos © Heinrich Helfenstein

S-Bahn Railway Station, Museum of Transport

The new S-Bahn railway station serves the Swiss Museum of Transport, which means that modern trains offer visitors direct access to the historical locomotives, cars, ships and aeroplanes of the museum.

Built on top of the existing railroad embankment, the train station is elevated above the surrounding terrain. The embankment continues to rise from west to east. For pedestrians, a new belowground passage at Lidostrasse links the two train platforms. Ramps lead up to the platforms at one end and at the end to the east there are temporary stairs.

The platforms are over 200 metres long and each have a covered waiting area, consisting of a conspicuous glass cube that juts out over the edge of the platform.

To facilitate construction and, in particular, to ensure the efficiency of nighttime work, the platforms consist largely of prefabricated elements: concrete floor panels placed on prefabricated columns. Large-format sheets of moulded and perforated steel are multipurpose: first, they are the railing, secondly, a very long bench and thirdly, cladding for the shady space underneath the elevated platforms. People can see in and out, thanks to the large, round perforations, which also make the station look like a floating ribbon that seems to dissolve into thin air at the top. The bends in the steel form a ledge for passengers to lean against and rest not only in the waiting room but along the entire length of the platform. In addition they prevent people from climbing up and over the railing.

Like the platforms above, the ramps and supporting walls of the underpass are made of concrete, while the railings and cladding consist of steel panels, but without bends. To improve passive security, the underpass is illuminated by a metal billboard that advertises the exhibitions at the Museum of Transport.

Location Lucerne, Switzerland

Programme S-Bahn railway-station, 2 station platforms 200 m long, waiting areas, pedestrian underpass

Commission 2006

Planning/Construction 2006–2007

Client Canton Lucerne
Department of Building, Environment, and Economy

Team G/G Caspar Bresch (Team Manager), Mark Ziörjen (Project Manager)

Landscape Architecture Schweingruber Zulauf Landschaftsarchitekten, Zurich

Structural Engineer Safety Barriers: Conzett Bronzini Gartmann AG, Chur
S-Bahn-Haltestelle: Emch+Berger WSB AG, Emmenbrücke

Photos © Lucas Peters

Swiss Museum of Transport – Urban Development Concept

The development concept for the Museum of Transportation in Lucerne takes as its point of departure an urbanistic configuration that already exists in the southern part of the complex: the addition of solitary, thematic buildings. In the future urbanistic layout the individual building volumes are to be linked on various levels by gangways, bridges and ramps. Thus, a “central” outdoor space will gradually develop between the buildings that is articulated and zoned through the position of the buildings and the gangways. The additive principal enables visitors to easily find the individual thematic areas, and allows a simple, phased realization of the future building projects as well as a stylistic plurality among the buildings. The latter is sought instead of attempting to lay down an obligatory, unified design strategy for future generations.

The first building phase, the "Street Forum", involves a new building placed on the eastern edge of the complex. It bounds the exterior space here that currently drifts off into the adjacent housing quarter void of any tension. The theme of riding, of "moving on wheels" is picked up architecturally by means of circulation ramps that allow the building to be accessed on various levels without any stairs. Two bridges connect the building with the Maritime Hall and the Rail Traffic Hall. In addition, a "transverse gangway" will lead from the entrance area to the "Street Forum" in a future development phase.

The exhibition zones are arranged upon three levels. They are divided into areas that are lit with daylight along the façades and areas located in the center of the building lit artificially. Electrically-controlled sun shading blinds made with fabrics (as in the roofs of convertible cars) or plastic tarps (such as cover trucks) regulate the light and heat gain levels of the building during the day.

The load-bearing structure mirrors the usage arrangement: slanted steel-concrete composite columns form the outer support structure and stiffen the building along its exterior envelope. The filigree statics of the bridges and ramps, which "ride" about and dock with the building, also characterize the building's façade. Concrete wall panels plus a stair and elevator core—whose placement can be freely chosen—take over the load-bearing function within the building. With a thickness of 40 to 45 centimeters the ceilings are able to accommodate ventilation ductwork, allowing one to forgo the use of suspended ceiling elements.

The materials are those found in rough construction. Concrete floors and ceilings as well as the steel support structure remind one of industrial buildings as well as street and bridge construction. The large-scale glazing of the façades nevertheless goes beyond the "garage-like" atmosphere to communicate an ambience of presentation—similar to that of an automobile showroom.

Location Lucerne, Switzerland

Competition 1999, 1st Prize

Competition Organzier Swiss Museum of Transport, Lucerne

Team G/G Markus Lüscher, Dalila Chebbi, Christian Meyer, Roger Naegeli

Structural Engineer Dr. Lüchinger + Meyer Bauingenieure AG, Zurich

Exhibition Design Lars Müller, Baden

Swiss Museum of Transport – Entrance Building

The current project is based on the 1999 competition. At that time the brief represented an urban design vision for the gradual renovation of the museum complex with its various buildings exhibiting the different modes of transport, as well as a new building for the Road Transport Hall. During the first construction phase (2005–09) a new Entrance Building (FutureCom) was built in addition to the replacement of the Road Transport Hall. This urban design strategy enabled the creation of a central open courtyard (Arena), which in the new scheme will remain undeveloped, creating a setting for temporary, themed exhibitions as well as space for young visitors to run around and play.

The new Entrance Building forms a bridge-like link between the existing buildings on Lidostrasse (the Filmtheater, the Rail Transport Hall, and the high-rise with adjacent planetarium). The ticket office, shop area, and two restaurants are located on the ground floor – one restaurant offers table service and opens toward the lake, the other is conceived as a self-service restaurant that stretches out with fingers into the Arena. The exhibition areas for communication media, the new entrance to the Planetarium, and also the building services area are found on the first floor. The second floor accommodates the conference area, with a conference hall that seats 500 guests, a generous foyer, and three smaller meeting rooms. A large opening in the ceiling of the entrance hall affords views through the entire building – into the exhibition level and all the way up to the conference level.

The glass façades that provide protection from the elements also form more or less transparent “display cases” for all kinds of wheels, propellers, wheel rims, turbines, cogs, steering wheels, etc. These mechanical parts are densely hung on grids in front of the thermal insulation, shining and glinting through the blue-green glass panes of the façade. Seen at an angle, they submerge again behind the glass. Like a trophy display, the omnium-gatherum of recycled and dusted-off used metal together with pieces from the museum’s collection pays homage to the wheel as a basic element of mechanical movement.

Location Lucerne, Switzerland

Programme Entrance Building to the museum complex, bridge-like link between the existing buildings; reception, shops, restaurants, exhibition spaces, conference area, conference hall 500 seats

Competition 1999, 1st Prize

Planning/Construction 2005–2009

Client Swiss Museum of Transport, Lucerne

Gross Floor Area 7'181 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

Award Auszeichnung guter Baukultur Kanton Luzern 2005–2016, Anerkennung