Bündner Kunstmuseum Chur

Bündner Kunstmuseum Chur

Bündner Kunstmuseum Chur, Chur, Switzerland2012–16

The extension of Villa Planta, which will accommodate the Bündner Kunstmuseum, is an exercise in integration within an urban ensemble. Despite the stringent limitations of the plot, the design strives to minimize its exterior volume by inverting the programme’s order.
This programmatic reversal consists of situating the exhibition spaces below ground level, in such a way that the emerging volume, above street level, contains only the public access areas. The volume’s reduced footprint makes it possible to extend the existing garden and improves the cohesion of the ensemble.
The extension is understood as an autonomous building, even though the design is aimed at reinterpreting those concepts that allow an architectural dialogue as a continuum to be established between Villa Planta and its extension.
This dialogue between the new and old buildings is based upon the balance that exists between their classical structures, a clear reference to the Palladian influence in Villa Planta, and to its ornamentation. As for their spatial organization, both buildings present a central symmetrical plan and both use geometry as a tool for cohesion. In the extension, this classical configuration also makes it possible to simplify the structural system and to organize the exhibition halls on the lower levels.
Villa Planta’s ornaments speak of the Oriental influences of its origins, while in the extension, the compositional system of the facades reinforces its expressivity and autonomy with respect to the Villa. Each building displays its own identity, based on common principles (structure and ornament) to reinforce the idea of a whole.

International competition. First Prize.