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Kunsthaus Zürich

2007 / 2008

15.12.2008
Winning project presented, Exhibition of competition submissions
David Chipperfield’s winning project for the Kunsthaus Zürich extension is a striking formulation of the plan for a 21st-century museum to meet the demands of art and the general public alike. The Kunsthaus extension's partners – the Zürcher Kunstgesellschaft, the city of Zurich, and the Stiftung Zürcher Kunsthaus – presented it on a press conference on 15 December. The project submitted by the renowned architect David Chipperfield was selected by a large majority as the winner of the competition for an extension to the Kunsthaus. The international jury found the design’s pristine elegance offers the best solution to the planned museum’s needs, in terms of both content and urban planning. According to the jury’s report, the extension will serve both the art world and the public well.

All 20 submissions to the competition were shown from 16 December 2008 until 11 January 2009 in the lecture hall of the Kunsthaus Zürich. 6000 visitors have seen the exhibition.

Information about David Chipperfield Architects is available at www.davidchipperfield.co.uk.

7.11.2008
David Chipperfield Architects wins competition for an extension to the Kunsthaus Zürich
A jury presided over by Walter B. Kielholz and moderated by Prof. Carl Fingerhuth has declared the project submitted by David Chipperfield Architects the winner of the competition to design an extension to the Kunsthaus Zürich. The Kunsthaus extension's partners – the Zürcher Kunstgesellschaft, the city of Zurich, and the Stiftung Zürcher Kunsthaus – will present the winning project at a joint press conference to be held on 15 December. All 20 projects submitted will then be made available for public viewing from 16 December 2008 until 11 January 2009 at the Kunsthaus.

31.3.2008
Start of the architectural competition
With 214 applications by architects from 22 different countries, the Kunsthaus extension project in Zurich awakened international interest. In early March, a jury of 20 led by Walter B. Kielholz, President of the Zürcher Kunstgesellschaft, selected twenty offices to take part in what is expected to be the final phase of the competition. See the section on the extension in the Kunsthaus-Magazin 2/08 for detailed information on the jury.

The 20 Teams are from Switzerland (9), Europe (8), and farther afield (3). In early April, the participants – who made their submissions anonymously and included renowned and seasoned architects as well as two young talent teams – are to be comprehensively briefed, largely on the basis of the Competitions Brief.
The process chosen guarantees fair treatment of all teams until a winning project is selected in November, and includes the option of a short list of teams being asked to submit revisions in the first half of 2009.

The city of Zurich is a supporter of the project, with the city legislature ratifying a project loan of CHF 6.5 million, applied for by the municipal council in the fall of 2007, by a vote of 113 to 3 on 26 March 2008.

14.12.2007

Architectural competition for the Kunsthaus Zürich extension opens
Advertisements in trade journals and online platforms invite architects from around the world to take part in the competition, from 14 December 2007 to 1 February 2008.
As expected, a large number of applications has been made, and the international jury (presided over by Walter B. Kielholz, President of the Zürcher Kunstgesellschaft, and moderated by Prof. Carl Fingerhuth) has selected 20 suitable teams to take part in the anonymous competition.
Provided that Zurich’s city legislature approves the project loan of CHF 6.5 million requested, the applicants selected are to receive complete documentation in April 2008 before commencing work on their projects.
The jury is to evaluate the resulting submissions and choose a winner during the fourth quarter of 2008. If necessary, several designs may be selected for a second round of anonymously submitted revisions, to take place in the first half of 2009.

29.8.2007
Strategy for Kunsthaus extension on Heimplatz firmly on track

The project has taken a positive turn with the canton deeding the grounds of the cantonal school to serve as the location of the Kunsthaus extension. The architectural competition received an explicit go-ahead before the real estate deal was notarized. The last stone fell into place when the municipal council approved an application for a so-called project loan in its first session following summer break, and dispatched the bill on its way through the relevant political bodies, the city legislature and the advisory committee. With the first tranche of the loan paid out, the competition can get underway with the elaboration of the preliminary project.

At the first press conference for the Kunsthaus extension, held on 29 August 2007 in the lecture room to coincide with publication of the city council’s decision, the steering committee set out the project’s main points and explained the next steps in the process. In his opening remarks, Walter Kielholz, President of the Zürcher Kunstgesellschaft, called the New Kunsthaus “a top-flight museum” that would hold its own in an ever more dynamic international environment. He also emphasized the Kunstgesellschaft’s willingness to procure half of the funds necessary for the extension (CHF 150 million) from private investors.
Zurich’s Mayor Elmar Ledergerber, who arranged the property deal, thanked the canton for its showing of “solid support” by literally preparing the grounds for the extension. He then went on to note the special significance of the major project for Zurich as a city of art and culture, and briefly explained the political process involving the city legislature.
He was followed by City Councillor Kathrin Martelli, who considered the urban planning and architectural aspects of the project and set out the aims and key features of the competition to take place in 2008/2009. She called the preliminary cooperation between city and Kunsthaus “exemplary”.
Director Christoph Becker addressed the contents of the extension to the Kunsthaus. Taking as his starting point the origin and context of the Kunsthaus Zürich, he presented the artistic concept as developed by the museum’s art experts. The Kunsthaus Zürich’s own collection, he explained, will profit from a more dynamic exhibition in the new building, and thus create an exciting contrast with the more classical form of the Bührle Collection, as well as the presentation of art in the existing building. In addition to this central feature of the concept, he went on, the Kunsthaus will also become a more open institution. The concept is based on the extension’s three core ideas: more room for the museum’s own collection, which is to continue to grow; inclusion of the Foundation E.G. Bührle Collection; and the removal of material containts on medium-sized travelling shows and on the art warehouse.

The Kunsthaus extension project is to be guided by the museum’s artistic contents as well as by long-term considerations, which give rise to its spatial design and in turn constitute the core of the competition brief for participating architects.

The Kunsthaus extension’s three partners were delighted by the largely positive press coverage they enjoyed following the initial presentation, with articles in 46 print media reaching a readership of six million throughout Switzerland.

First draft competition rendering of Kunsthaus Zurich 
extension by winner (November 2008)
David Chipperfield Architects / ©Imaging Atelier.
First draft competition rendering of Kunsthaus Zurich
extension by winner (November 2008)
David Chipperfield Architects / ©Imaging Atelier
First draft competition rendering of Kunsthaus Zurich 
extension by winner (November 2008)
David Chipperfield Architects / ©Imaging Atelier
First draft competition rendering of Kunsthaus Zurich
extension by winner (November 2008)
David Chipperfield Architects / ©Imaging Atelier