bjarke ingels group completes audemars piguet's spiraling museum in switzerland
 

bjarke ingels group completes audemars piguet's spiraling museum in switzerland

in 2014, bjarke ingels group (BIG) won an architectural competition to expand audemars piguet’s historic premises in switzerland. ingels and his team designed a spiral-shaped glass pavilion to complement the company’s oldest building, where jules louis audemars and edward auguste piguet set their workshop in 1875. the spiraling structure appears to rise out of the ground, with floor-to-ceiling glazing offering views across the remote valley in the jura mountains.

bjarke ingels group completes audemars piguet's spiraling museum in switzerland
image by iwan baan | all images courtesy of audemars piguet

 

 

designed by BIG, who worked closely on the project with local firm CCHE as well as audemars piguet, the spiral-shaped pavilion rises on walls of structural curved glass. integrated with the landscape, the glazing entirely supports the steel roof, while a brass mesh runs along the external surface to regulate light and temperature. a green roof further helps regulate temperature, while absorbing water.

bjarke ingels group completes audemars piguet's spiraling museum in switzerland

 

 

internally, the floors follow different gradients to adapt to the natural terrain and provide the basis of the museum’s inner layout stretched into a linear continuous spatial experience. the curved glass walls converge clockwise towards the spiral’s center, before moving in the opposite direction. in this way, visitors travel through the building as they would through the spring of a timepiece. ‘watchmaking like architecture is the art and science of imbuing metals and minerals with energy, movement, intelligence and measure to bring them to life in the form of telling time,’ says bjarke ingels.

bjarke ingels group completes audemars piguet's spiraling museum in switzerland
image by iwan baan

 

 

serving as both a museum and a place of work for audemars piguet’s craftspeople, the design contains traditional workshops where visitors can observe the company’s staff working on the timepieces. spanning over two centuries of history, the museum showcases more than 300 watches, including feats of complication, miniaturization, and unconventional designs.

bjarke ingels group completes audemars piguet's spiraling museum in switzerland
image by iwan baan

 

 

‘we wanted visitors to experience our heritage, savoir-faire, cultural origins and openness to the world in a building that would reflect both our rootedness and forward-thinking spirit,’ says jasmine audemars, audemars piguet’s chairwoman of the board of directors. ‘but, before all, we wanted to pay tribute to the watchmakers and craftspeople who have made what audemars piguet is today, generation after generation.’

bjarke ingels group completes audemars piguet's spiraling museum in switzerland

 

 

german museum designer ATELIER BRÜCKNER imagined the composition of the exhibition as a musical score. during their visit, guests are invited to try their hands at some of the ancestral techniques perpetuated by audemars piguet’s finishing experts, such as satin brushing and circular graining. the visit culminates at the center of the spiral with the display of grandes complications. here, astronomical, chiming, and chronograph watches orbit around the ‘universelle’ (1899), the most complicated watch ever produced by audemars piguet.

bjarke ingels group completes audemars piguet's spiraling museum in switzerland

 

 

as part of the same campus, audemars piguet is building a new hotel which plans to open in the summer of 2021. this project has also been designed by BIG with CCHE as local partner. the museum is tentatively scheduled to open to the public on june 25, 2020.

bjarke ingels group completes audemars piguet's spiraling museum in switzerland
image by iwan baan

bjarke ingels group completes audemars piguet's spiraling museum in switzerland
image by iwan baan

bjarke ingels group completes audemars piguet's spiraling museum in switzerland
image by iwan baan

bjarke ingels group completes audemars piguet's spiraling museum in switzerland
image by iwan baan

 

 

project info:

 

name: musée atelier audemars piguet
location: route de france 18, CH – 1348 le brassus, switzerland
design architect: bjarke ingels group
local architect: CCHE lausanne SA & CCHE la vallée SA
structural engineer: dr. lüchinger + meyer bauingenieure AG
façade consultant: dr. lüchinger + meyer bauingenieure AG
façade subconsultant: frener & reifer
mechanical engineer: fondation pierre chuard ingénieurs-conseils SA
lighting consultant: belzner holmes light-design
scenography/exhibition design: ATELIER BRÜCKNER GmbH

 

pavilion’s total surface: 2,500 sqm

exhibition surface: 900 sqm

number of structural glass panes: 108
load weight supported by glass: about 470 tons
structural glass’ maximum thickness: 12 cm
fabrication time for one glass pane: 3 weeks
public opening: june 25, 2020

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