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Fondation Beyeler Granted Building Permit for Extension Project with Atelier Peter Zumthor
Fondation Beyeler granted building permit for extension project with Atelier Peter Zumthor.
On June 2, 2021, the Beyeler-Stiftung was granted the building permit for its extension project with Atelier Peter Zumthor by the Canton of Basel-Stadt Buildings Inspectorate (BGI). The path is now clear for construction to begin. In the summer of 2020, the Beyeler-Stiftung Board of Trustees had decided to proceed with the planning application despite the coronavirus pandemic, wishing to send a positive signal to the arts and the economy in Basel and Switzerland in these difficult times. The extension project is of great importance to the long-term development of Switzerland’s most visited art museum and will decisively shape the years to come. Construction is scheduled to start in late summer 2021.

The extension will create a unique ensemble of museum buildings and almost double the park area open to the public. As Switzerland’s most visited art museum, the Fondation Beyeler wants to keep meeting the expectations of visitors and regional residents alike well into the 21st century.

Hansjörg Wyss, long-time patron of the Fondation Beyeler and initiator of the project, is delighted: “The project has already received a favourable welcome from the public, so it is gratifying that we have now also obtained the consent of all relevant agencies and authorities.” Sam Keller, Director of the Fondation Beyeler, adds: “We are happy to have reached this milestone and to soon be able to start with the construction work.”

The extension designed by Atelier Peter Zumthor comprises three buildings: the House for Art, a service building providing administrative and logistics facilities, and an events pavilion. The first two are being built in Iselin-Weber Park, which adjoins the current museum grounds to the south; the single-story pavilion will be situated in Berower Park, next to the existing boundary wall. The pavilion’s location endows it with a key role among the new buildings in Iselin-Weber Park, the historic architecture of the Berower estate, and the existing Renzo Piano building. The new museum building, which offers 1,500 square meters of exhibition space, is intended for collection displays and small-scale shows. The service building houses offices and technical facilities, dedicated among others to the delivery of artworks.

Demolition work on the houses at Bachtelenweg 5–9 can begin in August 2021 at the earliest. Construction work is scheduled to start in the late summer of 2021 and is expected to last two years. Access from Riehen’s town centre to the Wiese and the Lange Erlen will be maintained for pedestrians and cyclists. Building work in Berower Park will take less time and will thus begin at a later date. Over the past months and years, Atelier Peter Zumthor’s extension project has been detailed and refined by the architect in collaboration with specialist planners, public authorities and the project’s owners. In the summer of 2019, the project was granted preliminary planning permission by cantonal authorities. In the fall of 2019, Riehen’s Municipal Parliament also gave the construction project its approval.

Funding for the extension project is 90 percent secured thanks to generous donations by the Wyss Foundation established by Hansjörg Wyss, the Daros Collection owned by the Stephan Schmidheiny family, as well as other private donors together with the Beyeler-Stiftung. It covers the purchase of land and property, construction costs for the new building, as well as operating, maintenance and programming costs for the first ten years.

Peter Zumthor

Winner of the Pritzker Architecture Prize, the Praemium Imperiale and many other awards, Peter Zumthor was born in Basel in 1943. He brings extensive experience in the design of museum buildings, including the Kunsthaus Bregenz, the Kolumba Museum in Cologne, and currently LACMA (Los Angeles County Museum of Art). Peter Zumthor became known to a wider public with the Therme Vals spa complex and the Swiss pavilion at Expo 2000 in Hanover. As a native of Basel, he is particularly delighted to be creating the Fondation Beyeler’s new building in the adjacent Iselin-Weber Park.

Fondation Beyeler

The Fondation Beyeler in Riehen/Basel is an international success story and has established itself as the most visited art museum in Switzerland. Since opening its doors in 1997, it has welcomed over 7.5 million visitors from around the globe. Designed by Italian architect Renzo Piano, the multi-award-winning museum building set in the idyllic grounds of Berower Park is considered one of the most beautiful art spaces worldwide. Its famed collection of modern and contemporary art has doubled in size since it was started by Ernst and Hildy Beyeler, having expanded through acquisitions as well as valuable gifts and long-term loans from private collections and renowned artists.

Jan Sollberger
Team Extension Project / PR & Media Relations
Tel. + 41 (0)61 645 97 29,,
Fondation Beyeler, Beyeler Museum AG, Baselstrasse 77, CH-4125 Riehen, Switzerland

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