Geneva Music Conservatory

Geneva, Switzerland


Following three years of work by architecture firm, GM Architectes Associés, the extension and renovation of the Geneva Conservatory of Music concluded in 2021. Paying due respect to this monument to Geneva’s heritage, the 163-year-old neoclassical building has seen the character of the spaces enlarge and transform to meet modern needs and standards.

The key to this project was honouring the history of the proud Genevan monument while adding over 1,000m2 of additional space. Referencing the original 19th century building plans, the architects introduced natural light. Previously dark spaces were transformed by daylight when the original facets of the building were opened and skylights introduced, completely altering the character of the spaces with fresh clarity and harmonious proportions.

As extending the protected building upwards was not permissible, GM Architectes Associés created a new lower floor to meet the criteria for additional space. The introduction of new zenithal openings on the ground floor let in a flood of daylight to illuminate the new spaces where 16 classrooms now reside. In addition, the renovation included the creation of two new theatres, while the existing concert hall was restored with careful enhancement to its original décor.

The architects selected Arne Jacobsen’s iconic Ant, Series 7 and Pot chairs for their timeless, iconic classic appeal that perfectly matches the underlying beauty of the historic building.

Each of these chairs offers comfort and endurance while complementing the updated expression of the Conservatoire de Musique Geneva. The inviting curve of the Pot chairs in the cafeteria add an extra feeling of comfort in this relaxing environment that also includes a mix of Ant chairs and Ant barstools in custom colours. Additional customisations were made to the chairs in the form of bespoke colours to match the palette of the surroundings, and base-reinforcement for Series 7 chairs to allow musicians to sit on stabilised chairs while playing their instruments.