Kunsthaus Zürich

Zürich, Switzerland


Kunsthaus Zürich – a gateway to the world of art - opened a new extension in 2021 that reflects the cultural institution's idea of a museum for the 21st century.

The Kunsthaus Zürich museum has been growing for over a century. It now consists of four buildings from four eras: the Moser building, 1910; the Pfister building, 1958; the Muller building, 1976, and most recently, the Chipperfield extension opened in autumn 2021. Designed by David Chipperfield Architects, this latest addition makes Kunsthaus Zürich the largest art museum in Switzerland.

Inside the building, the space design is based on the idea of a 'house of rooms.' Room designs differ in size, orientation, materiality, and lighting, each with its idiosyncratic character. The ground floor centres around public functions such as the café, banquet hall, museum shop and education facilities arranged around the central entrance hall. The upper floors are exclusively for art. Exhibition halls of differing sizes, restrained materiality, and plenty of natural light ensure that art is at the centre of the visitor experience.

Sustainability is an essential element in the design of Kunsthaus Zürich. As Jan Parth, the architect behind the project, explains: "The most sustainable way to build is not to build at all. But in order to make a new building as sustainable as possible, it is our task to use materials that are durable and long-lasting. They should be produced or mined regionally and ideally be able to be returned to the material cycle."

The architects at David Chipperfield selected Arne Jacobsen's classic and elegant Series 7™ chair for its durability, stackable function, and timeless style. Designed by Arne Jacobsen in 1955, the Series 7™chair is an icon in modern furniture history. The chair is light and elegant, characterised by understated design and uncompromising quality.

The iconic Series 7™ chairs in Black Ash with slim chrome legs were selected for the museum, ready for events in the Ballroom and Bührle Hall, while several hundred Series 7™ chairs in Cherry wood are found in the old building in the Lecture Hall. Their curved shells stand in pleasing counterpoint to the conspicuous linear forms of the museum's construction and perfectly align with the ethos of durability and sustainability.