June this year saw the opening of the new and incredibly designed building by Barcelona-based studio Barozzi Veiga — a project developed to be an extension of the Villa Planta, which accommodates the Bündner Kunstmuseum, in the Swiss city of Chur.
The striking cubic 4,000-square-metres building, an exercise of integration within an urban ensemble, is understood as an autonomous building, independent from the historical Villa Planta building, even though the design’s main efforts are aimed at reinterpreting those concepts that allow an architectural dialogue to be established between the two. Both buildings present a central symmetrical plan and use geometry as a tool for cohesion.
Bündner Kunstmuseum features a characteristic gridded concrete façade and its regimented ornamentation sees a clear reference to the Palladian style of the Villa Planta. Inside the extension, this classical configuration also makes it possible to simplify the structural system and to organise the exhibition halls on the lower levels. The design strips away everything that is not structure, construction and programmatic division, all united in a single whole.
It’s not the first time we have celebrated the work of Barozzi Veiga, after his Szczecin Philharmonic Hall design, which won the Mies van der Rohe Award 2015.