After the Fondation Beyeler’s September announcement that it chose Peter Zumthor, Hon. FAIA, to extend the Swiss art gallery with three new buildings, it has now publicized the renderings for them. According to the Fondation Beyeler’s press release, the Riehen-based institution will add three separate buildings on the southern end of the campus, which currently includes a building by Italian architect and Pritzker laureate Renzo Piano, Hon. FAIA. Even after a couple of years after the museum’s 1997 establishment, the founder, Swiss art dealer and gallery owner Ernst Beyeler, anticipated a need for more space.
The museum cites organizing cultural events and art education as reasons for this expansion project. Currently, the standing structures does not provide rooms for these types of activities, and both restricts its curatorial team as well as costs the museum money when trying to hold community activities in gallery spaces. Additionally, the current rooms are insufficient for the foundation’s growing art collection. The three separate, new additions will take form as a simple administration building, a three-story “House for Art” for the museum’s permanent collection, and a transparent pavilion for events. They will be dispersed within the campus to take on the same “village-like” character known within Riehen.
One such development for the museum is the recent acquisition of the neighboring Iselin-Weber Park, which adjoins the Fondation Beyeler’s park to the south, next to the museum restaurant and the Bachtelenweg—a cul-de-sac that has in the past separated the area, but can now act as a link within the expanded campus to the neighboring communities. Previously, Iselin-Weber Park was private. However, it will now be made public, making the grounds double in size.
Construction costs for the project are estimated at CHF (Swiss Francs) 100 million, or about $99 million. Already, the museum has locked down half of the cost with donations. According to the foundation’s press release, construction is not expected to start until at least 2018.