Barkow Leibinger

Barkow Leibinger
Schillerstraße 94, D–10625 Berlin
T +49(0)30 315712 -0 F -29

Kunsthaus Extension, Zurich

The design for the extension of the Neues Kunsthaus Zurich is located across the Heimplatz from the existing museum (connected underground) and is a stand alone (solitary) building. A unifying cubic volume is constructed of a perforated concrete “space-frame” for the walls and roof. This acts as a container for a stacked jumble of concrete volumes, which house individual gallery spaces. This relationship generated an informal “slip space” between the envelope, and the boxes/galleries and a different climatic layer. Arched openings in the exterior envelope allow for curated views out into the city, and establish relationships of the interior to the surroundings.

Arriving at the entrance hall via a bridge over a gap, the transition from the street life to the museum is heightened.  This threshold signifies the passing into an acoustically, spatially, and atmospherically contemplative environment for art, without creating a barrier.

The interior is organized into flexible gallery clusters around a central orientation and access point. This accomplishes several things: the exhibition spaces are configurable to accommodate a variety of presentation and path scenarios; spaces can be flexibly joined or separated; and different lighting situations can be created. 

Project Information

Architects — Barkow Leibinger, Berlin, Frank Barkow, Regine Leibinger


Team Design — Martina Bauer, Natascha Bauer, Michael Bölling, Enlai Hooi, Shusuke Inoue, Martin Lukasczyk, Astrid Smitham, Christopher Sklar, Aki Nagasaka, Jens Weßel, Alexander Wright



Exhibition, Art Depot, Central Space, Main Entrance, Information, Museum Shop, Café, Bar, Atelier, Office



Zurich, Switzerland



12.750 sqm



04|2008 - 08|2008


City Zürich


Structural Engineer

Schlaich Bergermann und Partner


Mechanical Engineer

Todt Gmür + Partner AG, Klima- und Energietechnik


Energy Design

Transsolar Energietechnik GmbH


Fire Protection Consultant



Cost Consultant

Itten Brechbühl AG


Museum Consultant KEG


Landscape Architect

Büro Kiefer