Herzog & de Meuron
Project
1995
Realization
1995-1996

Although we have been planning and executing projects with Rémy Zaugg for years, it did not mean that the design of his studio was clear to us from the start. Over the past thirty years, Rémy Zaugg has devoted himself, like no other artist, to finding and defining a suitable architectural context for the presentation of art; he has even published a textbook on the subject (Das Kunstmuseum, das ich mir erträume, oder der Ort des Werkes und des Menschen, Cologne, 1987 / The Art Museum of My Dreams, or the Place for Works and People). Even so, he wanted to address the question of his own studio without an architectural a priori.

The resulting studio functions equally as the artist’s place of work and as a place to present and view art, i.e. a small museum. As an exhibition space, the studio was a kind of prototype for the planning of the Tate Gallery of Modern Art, having given us the first opportunity to try out the concept of overhead lighting, projected for the museum in London. This overhead lighting is so simple that one wonders why it hasn’t been used in museum architecture before. Is it too simple, too primitive or not distinctive enough to bring out the individuality of the designing architect? Actually, the opposite is true. Thanks to its almost spectacular simplicity, the exhibition space acquires a peacefulness and concentration to which we are hardly accustomed in conventional museum spaces with their all-glass ceilings, suspended overhead lighting or ceiling grids.

Translucent slabs of glass inserted flush into square openings in the ceiling produce even, bright daylight. The amount of incoming sunlight can be tested on site by the simple means of applying self-sticking film to the overhead domes from above. This eliminates the multilayered roof construction, so popular among architects, and the elaborate technology required to operate it. Standard industrial elements were quite adequate for the roof domes, the more so since a private studio does not call for complex technical installations.

The two studio spaces are of the same height but differ in floor plan and placement in relation to the park-like garden. This simple arrangement allows for considerable flexibility in the use of the two rooms. Since Rémy Zaugg generally works on several projects at once, which he executes alone or with assistants, it is important to be able to vary the work spaces in the new studio (and in various other spaces that he has been using as studios over the years) and adapt them to the respective situation.

The walls of the building are fair-faced concrete; because we felt this material best complemented the patrician villa next to which the studio has been erected. Rainwater, collected on the surface of the roof, runs down over the concrete wall of the studio facing the villa and seeps into the earth next to a large tree.

The way the rainwater seeps into the earth and the typology of the building resemble to the near-by factory of Ricola Europe SA. Both buildings have two symmetrically constructed porticoes, but they fulfill very different functions. In the artist’s studio they form an outside extension to the interior space, an outdoor addition to the work area that can be used, for instance, to clean and dry silk-screening tools. In addition the protruding roof spatially encompasses the old garden wall of the adjoining factory premises.

Herzog & de Meuron, 1996

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Process

The site behind a fin de siècle villa before construction.

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The wild garden of the old director’s villa.

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Simple Plexiglas inserts were used as skylights.

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Floor and ceiling plates of the studio cantilever to form an anteroom on both sides that serves as an interim area between park and workspace.

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The studio as a place of silence and concentration that can be opened towards nature.

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The new studio building forms a yard space towards the freshly planted row of trees at the perimeter of the property.

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The studio can be used as a work and exhibition space; view of the smaller of the two rooms.

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Drawings

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Team

Facts

In Collaboration With
Rémy Zaugg, Basel, Switzerland
Planning
Construction Management: Art et Industrie, Gaston Bohrer, St. Louis, France
Structural Engineering: Andreas Zachmann, Ingenieurbüro, Basel, Switzerland
Plumbing Engineering: Banzet, Hirtzbach, France
Specialist / Consulting
Silkscreen on Polycarbonate Panels: Marc Weidmann, Oberwil, Switzerland
Building Data
Site Area: 71'795 sqft, 6'670 sqm
Gross floor area (GFA): 2'906 sqft, 270 sqm
Footprint: 4'305 sqft, 400 sqm
Gross volume (GV): 70'629 cbft, 2'000 cbm

Bibliography

Gerhard Mack, Herzog & de Meuron: “Herzog & de Meuron 1992-1996. The Complete Works. Volume 3.” Edited by: Gerhard Mack. Chinese ed. Beijing, China Architecture & Building Press, 2010. Vol. No. 3.

Luis Fernández-Galiano (Ed.): “Arquitectura Viva. Herzog & de Meuron 1978-2007.” 2nd rev. ed. Madrid, Arquitectura Viva, 2007.

Gerhard Mack: “Rémy Zaugg, a Monograph.” Edited by: Musée d’Art Moderne Grand-Duc Jean Luxembourg. Luxembourg, Fondation Musée d’Art Moderne Grand-Duc Jean Luxembourg, 2006.

Gerhard Mack: “Rémy Zaugg, une Monographie.” Edited by: Musée d’Art Moderne Grand-Duc Jean Luxembourg. Luxembourg, Fondation Musée d’Art Moderne Grand-Duc Jean Luxembourg, 2006.

Gerhard Mack: “Rémy Zaugg, eine Monographie.” Edited by: Musée d’Art Moderne Grand-Duc Jean Luxembourg. Luxembourg, Fondation Musée d’Art Moderne Grand-Duc Jean Luxembourg, 2005.

Fernando Márquez Cecilia, Richard Levene (Eds.): “El Croquis. Herzog & de Meuron 1981-2000. Between the Face and the Landscape. The Cunning of Cosmetics. Entre el Rostro y el Paisaje. La Astucia de la Cosmética.” 2nd adv. and rev. ed. Vol. No. 60+84, Madrid, El Croquis, 2005.

Nobuyuki Yoshida (Ed.): “Architecture and Urbanism. Herzog & de Meuron 1978-2002.” Tokyo, A+U Publishing Co., Ltd., 02.2002.

“Herzog & de Meuron. Natural History.” Edited by: Philip Ursprung. Exh. Cat. “Herzog & de Meuron. Archaeology of the Mind.” Canadian Centre for Architecture, Montreal. 23 October 2002 – 6 April 2003. 2nd ed. Baden, Lars Müller, 2005.

Wolfgang Jean Stock: “Herzog & de Meuron. Atelier Rémy Zaugg in Mulhouse-Pfastatt.” In: Atelier Kinold (Ed.). “Bauen in Beton.” Munich, 2001. pp. 38-43.

Jacques Herzog, Sabine Kraft, Christian Kühn: “Mit allen Sinnen spüren. Jacques Herzog im Gespräch mit Sabine Kraft und Christian Kühn.” In: Sabine Kraft, Nikolaus Kuhnert, Günther Uhlig (Eds.). “Archplus. Zeitschrift für Architektur und Städtebau. Architektur natürlich.” Vol. No. 142, Aachen, ARCH+ Verlag GmbH, 07.1998. pp. 32-39.

Ulrike Jehle-Schulte Strathaus: “Visionäre Schweizer Architektur des 20. Jahrhunderts. Atelier Rémy Zaugg in Mulhouse France, 1995/96.” In: Robert Nef, Michael Wirth (Eds.). “Schweizer Monatshefte für Politik, Wirtschaft und Kultur.” Vol. No. 11, Zurich, 11.1998. p. 4.

“Wilfried Wang: Herzog & de Meuron.” 3rd adv. and rev. ed. Basel / Boston / Berlin, Birkhäuser, 1998. (= Studiopaperback).

Armelle Lavalou, Jean-Paul Robert, Rémy Zaugg: “Rémy Zaugg. L’Atelier.” In: Jean-Paul Robert (Ed.). “L’Architecture d’Aujourd’hui.” Vol. No. 315, Paris, Groupe Expansion, 02.1998. pp. 39-59.

Dietmar Steiner: “Atelier per un Artista, Mulhouse-Pfastatt. Studio for an Artist, Mulhouse-Pfastatt. Herzog & de Meuron.”
In: François Burkhardt (Ed.). “Domus. Architettura Design Arte Comunicazione. Architecture Design Art Communication.” Vol. No. 794, Milan, Domus S.p.A., 06.1997. pp. 10-17.