Rietberg Museum

From the outside, just an emerald green, glass cube as the new entrance - but underground, the Rietberg Museum in Zurich has been greatly extended with 2600m2 of additional exhibition area.

Idyllically situated with a view of the Lake Zurich, a villa ensemble in Rietberg Park is the only art museum for non-European cultures in Switzerland. It was founded over 50 years ago on the basis of a collection donated to the City of Zurich by Eduard von der Heydt. To satisfy the growing public interest both in this cultural gem and in non-European art in general, a generously dimensioned, modern extension to the museum was opened in January 2007. Only its new entrance - an emerald green cube - is visible from the outside, but underground there are two additional exhibition levels, offering an optimum arena for the presentation of the collection itself and for top-class revolving exhibitions.

Being underground rooms, the exhibition areas are solely illuminated by artificial light. Nevertheless, a spatial impression of vast openness is given by a luminous ceiling and the support-free design. Different ceiling heights differentiate the permanent collection level from the level for special exhibitions. In addition, the permanent collection is further divided into various subsections by partitioning walls in different hues.

ERCO tracks are integrated into the ceiling grid pattern and are fitted with Parscan spotlights for QT12 90/100W low-voltage halogen lamps. Equipped with different accessories such as louvres or sculpture lenses, these luminaires cater for the entire exhibition lighting and the scenic display techniques. The directed light of the optimally shielded spotlights lends form and freshness to the three-dimensional exhibits in particular.

The treasury character is further intensified by the brilliant lighting, while the light sources themselves are very discreet: black Oseris spotlights for low-voltage halogen lamps mounted on black tracks vanish into the darkness of the storeroom’s equally sombre, black metal ceiling.

A special feature in terms of museum display techniques is the new "Schaulager" or "viewing warehouse", which began when the museum opened up its stores to the visitors during the extension work. Largely uncommented and tightly packed in glass cabinets, the treasures of the collection are displayed here to an amazed public.

Museum Rietberg
Gablerstrasse 15
CH-8002 Zürich

Tel. + 41 (0)44 206 31 31
Fax + 41 (0)44 206 31 32


Construction team
Architects: ARGE Alfred Grazioli und Adolf Krischanitz (Vienna / Berlin).

Lighting design: d'lite Lichtdesign Guido Grünhage, Pia Ziegler, Zurich

Builder: Amt für Hochbauten der Stadt Zürich

Costing / site management: Walter Dietsche Baumanagement AG

Exhibition design: Rainer Wolfsberger (Rietberg Museum)

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