Swiss National Museum
Zurich, Switzerland

To reduce the isolation of the Platzspitzpark and create a safer atmosphere, a variety of new activities were planned for this island-like site in the heart of Zurich where the Swiss National Museum is located. A new café, relocation of the boat pier and revitalisation of the music pavilion will be improved. New open spaces will be created, and new focal points defined for existing sightlines according to the park’s history.

The park borders two rivers, the Sihl and the Limmat. On the banks of the latter, the new extension of the museum will stand free from the existing main building, though it the two buildings will be connected underground. The configuration of the ensemble of original and new elements create a sequence of open and closed exterior spaces that guide the movement of visitors and strengthens sightlines.

The existing courtyard remains part of the park. A glass construction which can be closed will be added to the courtyard if necessary, incorporating it into the museum for special occasions, festivities, and events. Additionally, the extension contains open spaces for temporary and special exhibitions which are connected both horizontally and vertically. This creates a route through the museum without dead ends. The original main building will house archaeology, middle ages, and modern era collections.

17,750 m2
Assigned by
Zurich National Museum
Competition in 2002