An international judging body has selected Atelier Peter Zumthor & Partner to design the extension of the Beyeler Foundation Museum, a structure originally designed by Renzo Piano. Chosen from among the proposals of 11 other prestigious architecture firms, including SANAA, Sou Fujimoto, Smiljan Radic, and Souto de Moura, Zumthor’s project will be built on a previously private plot in the Iselin Weaver Park in Riehen, Basel.
"Peter Zumthor brings the sensibility and experience needed to design a structure of excellent quality for this special place," comments Sam Keller, director of the Fondation Beyeler, regarding the judges’ decision. Zumthor has extensive experience in the design and construction of museum buildings, including the Kunsthaus Bregenz in Austria, the Kolumba in Germany, and his current project, the new Los Angeles County Museum of Art building. Now he will bring that expertise to the Beyeler Foundation Museum, near the Swiss-German border, which has established itself as the most visited art museum in Switzerland. Since its opening in 1997, 6.2 million have visited the building.
Zumthor is best known for the minimalist aesthetic of his works and for his exploration into how the materials and physical qualities of a space evoke experience. These ideas are manifested throughout Zumthor’s portfolio, including the Therme Vals in Switzerland.
The 2009 Pritzker Prize winner is excited about the opportunity to contribute meaningful work to his birthplace. "The sky above Basel, the city, and its surroundings — those are the landscapes of my youth. It warms my heart that I am able to design an important building here," says Zumthor, a longtime Vectorworks software user.
"We are happy to have one of the world's best architects as a partner for the project," says Hansjörg Wyss, chairman of the Beyeler Foundation. Atelier Peter Zumthor & Partner’s full design for the museum will be presented in the coming months.
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