The new extension of the Bündner Kunstmuseum Chur has been conceived as a simple and compact volume which is perfectly integrated in its immediate urban surroundings. The clear independence of the new building in relation to the adjacent buildings reinforces the importance of the garden in the new Museum area and confers the building an independent and sober appearance.
Architects: Barozzi/Veiga, Barcelona
Team: Alberto Veiga, Fabrizio Barozzi, Katrin Baumgarten, Ivanna Sanjuán, Verena Recla, Paola Calcavecchia, Laura Rodríguez
Landscape: paolo bürgi landschaftsarchitekt
Construction: Jan 2014 – June 2016
Cost: 28 500 000 CHF (26 196 380.38 EUR)
Volume: 23339 m3
Location: Bahnhofstrasse 35, 7000 Chur,
The Palladian style and the oriental reminiscence, which constitute the essential feature of Villa Planta, are reinterpreted in the extension of the museum which hosts a part of the permanent and temporary exhibitions. The project of the new museum arises from the original geometric axes of Villa Planta, and is positioned on its central axe. This central and symmetrical composite scheme becomes an architectonic dialogue, a “continuum” with Villa Planta. This clear and recognizable geometric relation connects the new museum extension and Villa Planta in an indissoluble way.
The façade motif, an abstract bas-relief consisting of preformed pearlescent grey concrete, covers the entire exterior façade. The simple appearance that characterizes the new building gives the project a clear, formal and composite autonomy, maintaining and reinforcing the identity of Villa Planta. The clear and precise functional scheme is organized by two parallel vertical cores, which also constitute the main structure of the building. The highly opened portal toward Grabenstrasse indicates the main entrance to the new museum.
Alberto Veiga explain that “The new Grisons museum of fine arts is a further step in the continuum established between the villa and its surrounding public gardens as well as in the dialogue between the construction and the city. At the same time, the new building aims to be captured as an individual structure with its own meaning. As such, it wants to belong to its location and to the city, and at the same time, express just as clearly that it can also belong universally.”
The foyer is a large open space directly connected with Villa Planta and the sculpture garden, characterized by the presence of the delicate oriental cherry trees. On the contrary, the cafeteria positioned in the attic and accessible in an independent way, is a more intimate space, open to a terrace and to distant views. In the two main floors of the exterior building are located the back office and other private space. A bright staircase, opened to the garden, leads in the exhibition rooms and visitor areas which are located in the basement.
The permanent collection is organized in a sequence of well proportioned rooms which are related to the rooms of the Villa Planta. The temporary exhibitions take place in the second basement level. The exhibition space consists of a single large room that allows a flexible modular arrangement, only interrupted by the two vertical staircases.
Villa Planta itself remains unchanged except some very delicate interventions. The facade design reflects the materiality of the building. An abstracted bas-relief, consisting of fabricated and pearl-colored concrete elements, inspired by the oriental motives of the Villa, covers the entire exterior facades and emphasizes once more the independence/originality of the new museum extension.