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Kunsthaus Zürich

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Kunsthaus Extension: Appeal

Presumably, you have heard about the most recent developments concerning the Kunsthaus Extension project. You remember that the citizens of Zurich accepted our construction project and design plans by popular vote in November 2012. No appeals were filed. The project was on the eve of its realization.

The fundraising of the Kunstgesellschaft, the Association of Friends of the Kunsthaus, was very successful, and raised some 75 million CHF in private funds! The collaboration with Sir David Chipperfield, who recently was awarded the renowned Praemium Imperiale of the Japanese Art Association by the Imperial Family, as well as that with his very engaged team of associates at Chipperfield Architects Berlin is excellent. In the meantime more than 100 people are at work on this project.

The preliminary work before the beginning of construction was running full speed (the groundbreaking was scheduled for December 2013, the laying of the foundation stone for early summer) when in May 2013 a foundation in Lucerne named Archicultura put in an appeal against the building permit. The court in charge of building permits and appeals determined that the foundation was unauthorized to appeal and dismissed it. The foundation considered its action admissible and pursued it. In December the next higher level of jurisdiction, the Administrative Court of the Canton Zurich, revoked the judgment. After legal examination, the project sponsors (the ‘Einfache Gesellschaft Kunsthaus Erweiterung’) decided not to take the decision the Federal Supreme Court. Now the Administrative Court of the Canton Zurich must reexamine the case and decide de facto. If this suit proceeds through several courts, a construction delay of many months might follow. Contract awards cannot take place or, if so, only in a very limited way. The entire project team, the project managers and all other related collaborators will need to sign off this project for an extended period. This spring the realization of the Kunsthaus Extension will be put on hold until further notice. All who worked together on this project as an excellent team with great energy and expertise regret this turn of events very much. At the same time, all involved are confident that in in the near future this project will move forth and be realized swiftly!

Our successful work with regard to temporary exhibitions and the presentation of our collections has not been affected by this situation: We are looking forward to an exciting year with Cindy Sherman, Egon Schiele, Jenny Saville and many others, to new perspectives in the collection and a very full program.
We are looking forward to your visit!

Yours, Christoph Becker

Director Christoph Becker
Director Christoph Becker