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Kunsthaus Zürich extension to commence operations in 2021
Extension Kunsthaus Zürich Shell with main entrance, March 2019. Photo © Amt für Städtebau, Juliet Haller.

ZURICH.- After more than five years under construction, the extension to Zurich’s Kunsthaus will be finished in winter 2020.

The Zürcher Kunstgesellschaft and the Stiftung Zürcher Kunsthaus will take as much time as is needed to fit out the building designed by David Chipperfield Architects. A pilot operation phase is planned for spring 2021, by which time the environmental conditions within the extension should have reached their targets. The valuable works of art will move into the collection and storage areas specially designed for them and the public will be able to participate in the first art actions.

At the end of 2021, when both sides of Heimplatz are fully functional and completely fitted out, the Kunsthaus will switch over to normal operations. At this point the Emil Bührle Collection as well as the Merzbacher and Hubert Looser Collections will take up their places in their new home, creating not just the largest art museum in Switzerland but also an exceptional collection of French painting. Further attractions will include the new temporary exhibition spaces, art post-1960, and the largest permanent exhibition of major works by Alberto Giacometti with a revised presentation in the existing building. The Zürcher Kunstgesellschaft expects that the enlarged premises and expanded programme will boost visitor numbers to as many as 400,000 a year from 2022.

Contractors from several dozen trades are currently working side by side on the construction site. Their top priority is keeping everything on schedule until the new building opens. However, to accommodate growing public interest in the progress of the interior, the Kunsthaus is coordinating with the public-private commissioning body to organize private guided tours. The price for a 60-minute tour of the Chipperfield building is CHF 360 (CHF 390 for foreign languages) plus CHF 11 per person (including admission to the Kunsthaus Collection). Dates between September 2019 and July 2020 can be booked now at

The main entrance to the historic 1910 Moser building will reopen at the start of September 2019. It was closed in March 2017 to enable construction of a second underground floor and connection to the passage leading across to the new Chipperfield building. Anyone interested in learning more about the opening arrangements should sign up for the Kunsthaus’s e-newsletter or visit the website, where they will also find a chronology of the project and in-depth information about the idea, content and form.

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