The Kunsthaus is a 1910 building located at Heimplatz, in the center of Zürich. After twelve years of planning and construction, its extension is complete and will open to the public in October 2021. Connected to the original building by an underground passageway, it is organized around a large central gallery that links the square to an urban Garden of Art, and which is understood as a space that opens out to the city. Hand in hand with the neighboring Schauspielhaus theater, the three volumes form a new ‘threshold to the arts’: the start of a mile-long cultural walk leading to the university grounds in the north part of Zürich.
The extension building is conceived as a bold block that closes the northern border of Heimplatz, and which on the other side delimits an urban garden capable of accommodating different artistic interventions. This was a cue to arrange the museum’s ground level around a large central corridor that bridges both areas. Accessible to the general public, this gallery strengthens the institution’s relationship with the city, and the large windows at its far ends help to visually connect the museum to the surroundings and integrate it into the environs. The more public parts of the program – such as the café, an event hall, the museum store, and education services – are laid out around this new civic space, while the exhibition halls take up the two upper stories.