Fondation Beyeler Extension by Peter Zumthor

Fondation Beyeler Expansion, Peter Zumthor Art Gallery, RPBW Swiss Architecture News, Images

Fondation Beyeler Extension by Peter Zumthor

New Swiss Architecture: Key Contemporary Arts Building in Switzerland by Renzo Piano Architect

28 May 2017

Fondation Beyeler Extension by Peter Zumthor

Location: Riehen, Switzerland

Fondation Beyeler Unveils its Extension Plans Designed by Peter Zumthor

Fondation Beyeler building extension
expansion images courtesy of Fondation Beyeler and Peter Zumthor

The Swiss art gallery originally designed by Renzo Piano Building Workshop (RPBW) has revealed three new buildings to accommodate its growing art patron base, as well as education programs and events.

Fondation Beyeler building expansion

After the Fondation Beyeler’s September announcement that it chose Peter Zumthor, Hon. FAIA, to extend the Swiss art gallery with three new buildings, it has now publicized the renderings for them.

Fondation Beyeler building interior

According to the Fondation Beyeler, the Riehen-based institution will add three separate buildings on the southern end of the campus, which currently includes a building by Italian architect and Pritzker laureate Renzo Piano, Hon. FAIA., reports Architect Magazine. Even after a couple of years after the museum’s 1997 establishment, the founder, Swiss art dealer and gallery owner Ernst Beyeler, anticipated a need for more space.

Fondation Beyeler in Riehen, Switzerland
photo by Taxiarchos228, courtesy wikimedia commons

The museum cites organizing cultural events and art education as reasons for this expansion project. Currently, the standing structures does not provide rooms for these types of activities, and both restricts its curatorial team as well as costs the museum money when trying to hold community activities in gallery spaces. Additionally, the current rooms are insufficient for the foundation’s growing art collection.

Beyeler Foundation Switzerland

The three separate, new additions will take form as a simple administration building, a three-story “House for Art” for the museum’s permanent collection, and a transparent pavilion for events. They will be dispersed within the campus to take on the same “village-like” character known within Riehen.

Beyeler Foundation Building in Switzerland

Peter Zumthor Architect

Collector couple Ernst and Hildy Beyeler assembled a collection of fine works of classical modernism over fifty years, parallel to their work as successful gallery owners. The collection was converted into a foundation in 1982, and exhibited in its entirety for the first time in 1989. The collection includes approximately 300 paintings and sculptures and gives a personal view of classical modernism that is based above all on quality.

Fondation Beyeler in Switzerland
photo by Dionysos~commonswiki, courtesy wikimedia commons

Purpose of the Foundation

The Fondation Beyeler is the owner of the Beyeler Collection, and is dedicated to making the works accessible to the public by operating the museum. One of the foundation’s further goals is to awaken and nurture an interest in the arts in young people.

The Fondation Beyeler is considered one of the world’s most beautiful museums. Its location in the middle of Berower Park, with its old trees, water lily pond and its views of cornfields, grazing cows, vineyards, and the foothills of the Black Forest, is unique. The building was designed by Renzo Piano and is elegantly integrated into this cultural landscape in an ideal combination of nature, art, and architecture.

Beyeler Foundation Building

Founding the museum

In the 1980s, Ernst Beyeler began to think about the future of his collection. He liked the idea of combining groups of works by great artists of the past century with sculptures from Africa and Oceania in a fitting place – a place that had yet to be created. The foundation was created in 1982 and the idea of building a museum was born. Impressed by the work of Renzo Piano, who had designed the Centre Pompidou in Paris and the Menil Collection in Houston, he commissioned the Italian star architect without organizing a competition.

Berower Park in Riehen

In his home town of Riehen, Ernst Beyeler found a plot that had the connection to nature that he was looking for. The beautiful grounds of the Villa Berower estate was ideal setting for a museum in which art and nature should harmonize. At the start of planning, Renzo Piano proposed a building made of three wings adapted to the terrain.

source: Beyeler Foundation


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