Kunstmuseum Basel, Switzerland

white museum building modern architecture front view Kunstmuseum Basel
Kunstmuseum Basel Extension, Switzerland © Rory Gardiner

Architects Christ & gantenbein, Switzerland
Location Basel, Switzerland
Construction period 2012 - 2016
Nomination category
Sharing public spaces
Purpose Art museum
Usable floor area 4.400 m²
Brick type Clay blocks

In 2016, the Kunstmuseum in Basel was enlarged by about 8000 square metres in order to showcase more of its considerable collection of paintings. For this extension, the architects designed a grey solitaire connected to the existing building through an underground hall. The whole façade is made of bricks, which had their red and yellow hues removed with a nitrogen treatment so that the building now looks like a coarse, three-dimensional, black-and-white photo. The colours of the façade are in graduated shades, brightening towards the top. The aim of using bricks was to create a building that matches the older part of the museum, but still has a new and modern character. LED-lights create special effects by projecting different patterns and motifs onto the façade. Inside, the architects also followed the concept of colourlessness by using only materials in shades of grey. This encourages visitors to focus entirely on the paintings exhibited. Thanks to its special architecture and design, the museum is a very significant part of the city and is considered an exhibit itself.

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