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Kunsthaus Zürich Wins Award for Communication of its Extension Project
The Kunsthaus extension, 2008. David Chipperfield Architects Ltd/Imaging Atelier.

ZURICH.- For the communication of its planned extension the Kunsthaus Zürich has been awarded the red dot design award – the international seal of design quality – in the category of ‘communication design’.

The red dot design award is the world’s leading design competition. A total of 6,112 pieces from 42 different countries were in the running for the 2009 prize. Büro4, the Zurich-based agency, submitted the concept after creating initial material for the Kunsthaus extension project. The high-calibre jury, comprising 18 designers and/or design experts, found only one in eight submissions capable of withstanding critical assessment. Products were evaluated for their innovation, functionality, formal quality, symbolic and emotional content and self-explanatory character.

The experts acclaimed the design of the Kunsthaus extension project for its emphasis on process and for its ability to adapt – and praised its evident reference to both the past and the future of the institution despite being a temporary campaign. The jury found that the project highlights the Kunsthaus extension as a part of Zurich’s cultural history, and as a work in progress with a definite deadline: 2015. The design elements used are based on the museum’s current corporate identity, and include delicate typography, plenty of active space, and light, characteristic colours. In the eyes of the public it conveys respect for traditional values while also gesturing at the dynamic evolution of the New Kunsthaus as sought by the Zürcher Kunstgesellschaft.

The architectural competition was just getting underway in the spring of 2008 when Büro4 made their winning pitch to beat out three rivals, developing their prize-winning visual statement based on a briefing given by Kunsthaus Director Christoph Becker and Björn Quellenberg, Head Press and Communication.

The red dot design award has been bestowed annually since 1955 by the Design Zentrum Nordrhein Westfalen in Essen. Björn Quellenberg and Stefan Hunziker, co-founder of Büro4, will accept the prize on 9 December.

‘The Idea’, a brochure devoted to the extension, and the project info-stand in the foyer of the Kunsthaus are both outgrowths of the prize-winning design. Further publications to follow.

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