Kirchner Museum Davos architecture
The Kirchner Museum Davos was built in 1992 by internationally renowned Zurich architects Annette Gigon and Mike Guyer. With its simple, consistent design of glass, concrete, steel and wood, the building continues to be regarded as a pioneering example of a new approach to museum architecture. It uniquely combines functionality and aesthetics, intrinsic architectural value, and service to art. In 2012, Gigon/Guyer received Switzerland’s most valuable architecture prize, the Velux Foundation’s Daylight Award, for the Kirchner Museum Davos.
The exhibition galleries were not supposed to elevate Ernst Ludwig Kirchner’s work or compete with it. The four galleries on the ground floor are therefore designed with great restraint. Daylight enters the galleries through the skylight structures, albeit not from above, but—unobstructed by any snow covering—through lateral glazing. The exposed-concrete entrance hall is located in between the gallery cubes. The hall is a place of arrival, orientation, and information. On their tour of the galleries, visitors repeatedly return to this hall, from where they can look out over the surrounding park, the street, and the landscape that served as Kirchner’s subject. The museum’s building envelope consisting of variously transparent, matt, and shiny glass, is inspired by the bright, Alpine light of the Davos valley.
The first stone was laid on April 5, 1991, and the museum opened on September 4, 1992. The building’s client was the Ernst Ludwig Kirchner Foundation Davos, and the building was donated by the Benvenuta Family Foundation.
For additional information, please refer to the architects’ website: