Graber & Steiger Architekten: Thun Panorama - best architects 16

Graber & Steiger Architekten

Thun Panorama

best architects 16

public buildings


Thun / Switzerland


Dominic Marc Wehrli


The world’s oldest surviving cyclorama, the panoramic picture of Thun painted by Marquard Wocher from 1809 to 1814, underwent a comprehensive restoration in 2014. The rotunda that has been home to the circular image since 1961 was simultaneously restored and upgraded with the addition of an annex. The revitalisation of the building takes up substantive, architectural and scenic aspects of what went before and reinterprets them to create an atmospheric landmark. The transparent pavilion-like extension, which emulates the circular geometry of the former building by incorporating gentle, concave curves into the rectangular exhibition space, is virtually the spatial antithesis of the introverted rotunda. Thanks to their structural affinities, the two buildings enter into an almost symbiotic relationship, old and new merging to create a cohesive ensemble. Underneath the slender roof of the annex with its up to eight meter overhang, a frameless skin made of curved glazing produces an oscillating interplay of transparency and reflection.