The exterior of MUZEUM SUSCH reflects its interior architecture, adopting the historical and geological approach of the main brewery building that was carved from rock. Landscaping by Günther Vogt is a key component of the project, surrounding the structures of the buildings to preserve and enhance the historic properties of the site. The framework of the ensemble plays a crucial role in the perception and historical understanding of the place. It is complemented by additional walls, some low, where stones from the river with different colors and structures, cut into slabs of varying sizes and thickness, are arranged in the dark, natural stone wall like an encyclopedia of the natural history of the site, a Landscape Library. The concept brings together both elements: a place for retreat from the lively museum atmosphere and the exhibition of natural history. At the same time, the walls supplementing the architecture and highlighting the monastic history define the new museum complex.
MUZEUM SUSCH consists of four buildings, the Bieraria (brewery) and Bieraria Veglia (old brewery), which are interconnected by a tunnel and will house the exhibition space, foundation headquarters, and a restaurant. Additionally, there are two structures - Chasa della Santa and the Temporars Susch artists' residency house. The architects faced the challenge of unifying these structures visually as well as functionally.
As the complex of buildings has significant historical and landscape value, protected by the Cantonal Historical Preservation Law, its additional rooms were created by excavating into the solid mountain rock beneath and beside the Muzeum Susch. The first stage of the project involved over a year of blasting and excavation, moving 9,000 tons of Amphibolite, a local rock, before construction began.
To connect the economic building of the monastery complex (Bieraria Veglia) with the later added main building (Bieraria), an underground passageway leads visitors under the street into the Bieraria. One of the first experiences inside the museum is with the natural mountain rock grotto, historically used for beer cooling and storage, interacting with the building’s history in a playful dynamic between old and new. This space will eventually become a unique gallery for site-specific artist commissions.
The brewery building's additional floor space has nearly tripled, now comprising 1,500 square meters of exhibition space in total. The original central cooling tower of the brewery has been extended four meters into the ground, reaching a height of 17 meters.
19 January 2019 : MUZEUM SUSCH @ the Met
In Our Time: A Year of Architecture in a Day
Trailer by Aesop
Architects Chasper Schmidlin and Lukas Voellmy said, “It was clear to us that this was a space with huge potential and should form the ‘core’ of the museum. While other museum buildings may have a grand staircase as a focal architectural feature, this vast tower punctuates all stories of the building and now houses one of the first site-specific artist commissions: a monumental steel structure by Monika Sosnowska.”
In addition to Sosnowska’s sculpture, the museum will be characterized by a series of permanent, site-specific installations by international contemporary artists, which interact with the architecture and the site’s idiosyncratic structure. Each built-in artwork contributes to shaping the evolving character and layout of the space, inviting a unique sense of choreography with the temporary works on display, which will occupy most of the building space.
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