BIG audemars piguet museum la maison des fondateurs designboom
for an extension to its historic headquarters in le brassus, switzerland, luxury watchmaker audemars piguet has commissioned a design team lead by BIG, with collaboration from HG merz, luchinger & meyer, and müller illien. the 2,400 sqm museum addition, called ‘la maison des fondateurs’ (the home of the founders), is composed as a spiraling and interweaving building form which blends with the landscape. its arrangement is based on a linear sequence of experiences which present a story to visitors. serving as a new attraction to the overall complex, the coiling pavilion properly represents the brand by blending its historic legacy with its independent and avant-garde spirit.

BIG audemars piguet museum la maison des fondateurs designboom
all images courtesy of BIG

 

 

the particular form solves the programmatic dilemmas of the facility. the narrative structure of the visitors’ experience requires a continuous circulation, while the logistics and operations of workshop spaces also necessitate an interconnected relationship. by creating two spiraling forms which weave between one another, the three watch making studios are able to be immediately adjacent to one another, while surrounded by the connected galleries.

BIG audemars piguet museum la maison des fondateurs designboom
the linear museum experience wraps the outside of the spiraling form

 

 

the roof form of the pavilion is a continuous element, composed of a steel structure clad in brass. in plan, it reads as a unified whole, but is discontinuous in section to allow for daylight and views outward to la vallée de joux.

BIG audemars piguet museum la maison des fondateurs designboomopenings in the landscape provide guestrooms with views of the valley context

 

 

in describing the project, bjarke ingels states:watchmaking, like architecture, is the art and science of invigorating inanimate matter with intelligence and performance. it is the art of imbuing metals and minerals with energy, movement, intelligence and measure – to bring it to life in the form of telling time. unlike most machines and most buildings today that have a disconnect between the body and the mind, the hardware and the software, for the maison des fondateurs we have attempted to completely integrate the geometry and the performance, the form and the function, the space and the structure, the interior and the exterior in a symbiotic hole‘.

BIG audemars piguet museum la maison des fondateurs designboom
the facility includes interconnected watchmaking workshops

BIG audemars piguet museum la maison des fondateurs designboom
a wide spiraling stair matches the building’s gesture

BIG audemars piguet museum la maison des fondateurs designboom
the roof form of the pavilion is a continuous element, composed of a steel structure clad in brass

BIG audemars piguet museum la maison des fondateurs designboom
the sloping gesture loosely relates to the hilly context

BIG audemars piguet museum la maison des fondateurs designboom

 

 

 

 

project info:

 

location: le brassus, switzerland
size: 2,400 sqm/ 25,800 sqft
partner-in-charge: bjarke ingels, thomas christoffersen
project leader: daniel sundlin
team: ji-young yoon, jason wu, otilia pupezeanu, natalie kwee, beat schenk, dammy lee, blake smith, marie lancon, yaziel juarbe, julien beauchamp-roy, kristian hindsberg, pauline lavie
collaborators: HG merz, luchinger und meyer, muller illien