more details have been announced regarding a new contemporary art museum currently under construction in switzerland. situated in a remote town in the engadin valley of the swiss alps, muzeum susch will occupy a former brewery and rural monastery once it opens to the public in early 2019. the new institution was founded by grażyna kulczyk, a polish entrepreneur who has been a long-term supporter of the arts.


exhibition space will be located within a former brewery

 

 

to realize the complex project, kulczyk commissioned architects chasper schmidlin and lukas voellmy to restore and expand the three buildings: the bieraria (brewery) and bieraria veglia which, interconnected, will host exhibition space, office headquarters, and a restaurant; and chasa della santa which will contain the artists’ residence. the challenge for the architects has been to unite these structures visually as well as physically.


the brewery’s original cooling tower has been extended to a total of 17 meters in height

 

 

the first stage of the project involved over a year of excavation, shifting 9,000 tons of local rock before construction could begin. an underground passageway will lead visitors from the bieraria veglia, underneath the road, in to the bieraria opposite. one of the first encounters inside the museum is with the natural mountain rock grotto, which was historically used for the cooling and storage of beer. this space will eventually form a gallery for site-specific artist commissions.


one of the first encounters inside the museum is with the natural mountain rock grotto

 

 

over 700 square meters of additional floor space have been created inside the old brewery building which will comprise a total of 1,500 square meters of exhibition space. meanwhile, the brewery’s original cooling tower has been extended by four meters into the ground to a total of 17 meters in height. the museum will be defined by a series of permanent, site-specific installations by international contemporary artists, which directly engage with the site.


site plan (click for larger version)

 

 

‘the excavated rock fragments from the building expansion have been repurposed to create the polished terrazzo flooring of the galleries, mixed with sand from the bed of the flüela pass river which runs through susch,’ explains chasper schmidlin and lukas voellmy. ‘in other rooms, wood sourced from local surrounding forests is used for flooring and wood wall-panelled cloakrooms.’


section (click for larger version)

 

 

as part of the project, the architects developed a proposal for the landscaping around the structures of the museum that seeks to restore and consolidate the historic properties of the site. a special intervention is being integrated into the exterior stone walls by landscape architect, günther vogt, which references the idea of a library built into the stones.


historic site plan from 1896 (click for larger version)

 

 

‘it was important to me to work with architects who had knowledge of the area, and understanding of its unique features when intervening into the structure,’ says grazyṅa kulczyk. ‘chasper’s family heritage is from the engadin, and lukas too has been a visitor to susch for many years, so I was confident they would respect the character of the place. through the process we have developed a relationship with the building, uncovering parts of its history which have informed the project brief. muzeum susch is intended to be a place of contemplation and challenge to accepted ideas, a museum that is like no other.’


historic section from 1896 (click for larger version)

 

 

muzeum susch’s inaugural exhibition will be curated by kasia redzisz, senior curator, TATE liverpool, devoted to ‘the notion of womanhood and challenging representations of the female body in the art historical canon’. the museum will open on january 2, 2019.


historic section from 1896 (click for larger version)

 

 

project info:

 

project lead: chasper schmidlin & lukas voellmy
team: andrea steiger, pascal schneuwly, nadinka guscetti, sandra sánchez gañete, lisa mäder, henrik månsson, larissa müllner, amelie mai nguyen
civil engineer: jon andrea könz s.c.r.l. ing. dipl. ETH SIA
light consultant: ch keller design AG
electro engineering: capaul engineering AG
HVAC engineering: kalberer + partner AG
geologist: sieber cassina + handke AG

    have something to add? share your thoughts in our comments section below.

    comments policy
    LOG IN
    designboom's comment policy guidelines
    generally speaking, if we publish something, it's because we're genuinely interested in the subject. we hope you'll share this interest and if you know even more about it, please share! our goal in the discussion threads is to have good conversation and we prefer constructive opinions. we and our readers have fun with entertaining ones. designboom welcomes alerts about typos, incorrect names, and the like.
    the correction is at the discretion of the post editor and may not happen immediately.

    what if you disagree with what we or another commenter has to say?
    let's hear it! but please understand that offensive, inappropriate, or just plain annoying comments may be deleted or shortened.

    - please do not make racist, sexist, anti-semitic, homophobic or otherwise offensive comments.
    - please don't personally insult the writers or your fellow commenters.
    - please avoid using offensive words, replacing a few letters with asterisks is not a valid workaround.
    - please don't include your website or e-mail address in your comments for the purpose of self-promotion.
    - please respect jury verdicts and do not discuss offensively on the competition results
    (there is only one fist prize, and designboom usually asks renown professionals to help us to promote talent.
    in addition to the awarded designs, we do feel that almost all deserve our attention, that is why we publish
    the best 100-200 entries too.)

    a link is allowed in comments as long as they add value in the form of information, images, humor, etc. (links to the front page of your personal blog or website are not okay). unwelcome links (to commercial products or services of others, offensive material etc. ) will be redacted. and, ... yes, spam gets banned. no, we do not post fake comments.

    PRODUCT LIBRARY

    a diverse digital database that acts as a valuable guide in gaining insight and information about a product directly from the manufacturer, and serves as a rich reference point in developing a project or scheme.

    architecture news