Barozzi Veiga: BKM - Bündner Art Museum - best architects 20

Barozzi Veiga

BKM - Bündner Art Museum

best architects 20

public buildings


Chur, Switzerland


Simon Menges


The new extension of the Bündner Art Museum Chur has been conceived as a simple and compact volume, which is perfectly integrated in its immediate urban surroundings. To create a new public space, the design strives to minimise its exterior volume by inverting the programme’s order. This programmatic reversal consists of situating the exhibition spaces below ground level in such a way that the emerging volume, above street level, contains only the public access areas. The volume’s reduced footprint makes it possible to extend the existing garden and improves the cohesion of the ensemble. The dialogue between the new and old buildings is based upon the balance that exists between their classical structures, a clear reference to the Palladian influence in Villa Planta and to its ornamentation. As for their spatial organisation, both buildings present a central symmetrical plan and both use geometry as a tool for cohesion. Villa Planta’s ornaments speak of the Oriental influences of its origins, while in the extension, the compositional system of the façades reinforces its expressivity and autonomy with respect to the Villa. Each building displays its own identity, based on common principles (structure and ornament) to reinforce the idea of a whole.