The construction of a museum belongs to one of the most beautiful and challenging tasks in the field of architecture. Museum buildings place high demands on aesthetic, artistic and curatorial standards from highly specialized conservation issues up to technically complex areas such as climate or safety technology. Those were the tasks OAP faced while designing and implementing the exhibition areas in the existing building and in the new extension, which also included new spaces for archive, storage and study areas.
The Abegg Foundation in Riggisberg is an institution of international standing in the field of textile conservation and collection. The existing buildings at the foot of the Bernese Alps had grown over the decades, were expanded, modified and redesigned. Now again they were to be adapted to new needs.
For OAP the question arose how a museum is to be designed when demanding the latest exhibition technology. In response OAP developed, among other things, an LED light ceiling for the entire exhibition space, producing a directionless even light with low luminous intensity. The architects also not only answered to the requirements of the curator and the textile conservators, but together with them entered in many ways new technical ground. Precision in design and planning resulted in a new museum with generous interior space and feeling for large exhibits. Ancient textiles hang from specially treated wall panels. Large precious exhibition pieces are shown to visitors in freestanding glass cases.
In addition to the functional requirements, especially in the field of lighting and climate technology, OAP's endeavored to find an architectural expression to complementing the volumetrics of the existing buildings and incorporating these into the moraine of the Alpine foothills. The locally occuring bare sedimentary rocks, were an inspiration for the architects. The vivid three-dimensional character of the façade is achieved by random patterned blocks of calcareous tufa, layed at different depths. The roughness of the stone emphasizes the physicality and the elementary appearance of the extension. Thus the facade gives a fascinating play of light that unfolds differently during the passing of the day and at different seasons. Where the large window openings are embedded into the facade, a transition from the rough stone to the fine structured chrome steel frame takes place. The top of the attica is finished with a smoother surface of the light coloured Giallo d'Istria limestone.
Abegg-Stiftung Riggisberg BE
OAP Offermann Architekur und Projekte, Zürich
2007 - 2009
ca. CHF 25 Mio.