Kunsthaus Zürich

2011 / 2012

Zurich’s electorate approved the extension project

The result of the popular vote on 25 November 2012 is a major success for the Zürcher Kunstgesellschaft. The voting figures – 53.9 percent for and 46.1 percent against – represent a clear majority for the idea of a museum for art and audiences in the 21st century.

‘The New Kunsthaus. Great Art and Architecture.’ An exhibition on the expansion of the Kunsthaus Zürich.

Until to 6 January 2013, the Kunsthaus Zürich is staging a new exhibition revealing what will be on offer to visitors from 2017 in the new extension designed by David Chipperfield Architects.

Founding of Voting Committee

A few days after determining the date of voting (November 25th, 2012) an independent, non-partisan voting committee was formed to promote the Kunsthaus Extension Project.  More than 160 people from political, civic, economic and cultural circles support this seminal undertaking and have launched its own website:

Public design plan adopted

The public design plan for the Kunsthaus extension project was adopted by a two-thirds majority.

City Parliament approves
With a large majority (79:41) on July 4th Zürich's City Parliament has approved the drafts (financing and design plan) for the extension of the Kunsthaus.

Pre-consulting commission approves

The pre-consulting commission of the City Parliament has approved the city's contribution for the extension of the Kunsthaus. The corresponding decision of the building commission with regard to the design plan was already made two weeks ago.

The Foundation E.G. Bührle Collection comes to the Kunsthaus Zürich

On 28 May 2012 the Zürcher Kunstgesellschaft signed an agreement with the Foundation E.G. Bührle Collection setting out the terms under which some 190 paintings and sculptures are to be made available on long-term loan to the Kunsthaus Zürich. The internationally renowned collection of the industrialist Emil Bührle (1890-1956) is to be exhibited from 2017 in the extension to the Kunsthaus Zürich. This will enable the Kunsthaus to stage the largest assembly of French Impressionist painting in Europe, outside Paris. The new agreement between the Foundation E.G. Bührle Collection and the Zürcher Kunstgesellschaft replaces the agreement in principle drawn up in February 2006 and sets the seal on the intent, declared by the parties at the time, to make the artworks from the Bührle Collection accessible to the public at large in the newly expanded Kunsthaus. In addition to the participatory building credits and subsidies funding the initial expenses, the related income and costs are included in the subsidy requests to the Zurich City Parliament for the Kunsthaus extension project that will be discussed in July 2012.

Kunsthaus Zürich joins forces with Fondation Hubert Looser
An outstanding private collection of modern and contemporary art is coming to the Kunsthaus Zürich, thanks to a new agreement with the Fondation Hubert Looser. Focusing on Abstract Expressionism, Minimal Art and Arte Povera, 70 works will be exhibited in the Kunsthaus extension on long-term loan from 2017, and will ideally complement the museum’s own holdings. The Looser Collection is the product of an approach that abjures modish trends, choosing instead to foster dialogues and productive tensions and, in so doing, to enable encounters with art that are replete with new experiences and revelations. This is perfectly in tune with the Kunsthaus Zürich’s aim once the extension by David Chipperfield Architects: a dynamic presentation featuring annually changing constellations of works from the Kunsthaus and Looser collections together with thought-provoking juxtapositions of differing genres and formats.

City contribution and layout plan of the Kunsthaus Extension

The city council is filing an application with the municipal council for approval by the voting population requesting an investment contribution of 88 million francs and participation in the covering of  non-recurring pre-production costs for the expansion project of 5 million francs. The city council requests a future annual increase of 7,5 million francs in city contributions in order to cover the running costs of the Kunsthaus as of 2017 and to maintain the new addition. Concurrently the city council submits the public layout plan for the building site to the municipal council for deliberation and decision.

The cantonal council approves 30 million and the land parcel

The canton of Zurich supports the extension of the Kunsthaus with 30 million francs. With 154 votes against one, the cantonal parliament has approved the contribution from the lottery fund to the Stiftung Zürcher Kunsthaus. It also provides the necessary building site valued at 15 million Swiss francs available on a leasehold basis for a term of 80 years.

Preliminary design project approved. Vote in 2012. Opening in 2017
The preliminary design project for the extension to the Kunsthaus Zürich is now complete. The design by David Chipperfield’s team of architects has assumed its definitive form. The timetable provides for the electorate to vote on the project in 2012, with the Kunsthaus extension opening in 2017. It will create space for a dynamic, regularly changing presentation of the collection of post-1960 art, attractive temporary exhibitions, and the new speciality of French painting and Impressionism.
During the preliminary design project, the basic architectural concept of the winning submission was refined and adapted to meet the needs of its future users. Further details were also added to the timetable and cost estimate for realization of the project. The cost target is CHF 178.8 million.
In line with the recommendations made by the city’s structural engineering department, the above-ground and below-ground volume of the new building has been reduced in all its dimensions and the area in front of it facing Heimplatz enlarged, so that the new construction will appear smaller in the context of the urban landscape than was originally envisaged. The Kunsthaus, in its capacity as user/operator, has presented the key points of its business plan. The forecast additional expenditure will be covered by maintaining the existing high level of internal financing (over 50 percent) in combination with the increased subsidy set out in the city of Zurich’s cultural mission statement.

At the behest of the Head of the Department of Finance, Zurich City Government hereby undertakes to provide oversight of the Foundation for the Advancement of the Kunsthaus Extension, within the meaning of art. 84 of the Swiss Civil Code (ZGB).

45 objections submitted to planned design
There have been 45 separate objections submitted to the planned design of the Kunsthaus Zürich extension, many of which contain the same demand: that architect David Chipperfield’s new structure be set back several metres.
The city, which will examine all objections, has decided to treat the multiple identical submissions in consultation with the group known as ‘Open Pfauen’. In the event that it rejects a given demand it undertakes to provide justification in the form of a report presented to city legislature together with the design plan.