Barcelona-based architectural firm Barozzi Veiga was commissioned to implement the project of an extension of the Villa Planta, which will accommodate the Bündner Kunstmuseum in Chur, Switzerland.
The 4,000-square-metre extension of the Villa with the appearance of a gridded cube is an exercise of integration within an urban ensemble. Despite the stringent limitations of the plot, the design strives to minimize its exterior volume by inverting the program’s logical order.
This dialogue between the new and the old buildings is based on the equilibrium that exists between their classical structures, an apparent reference to the Palladian in once in Villa Planta, and to its ornamentation. As for their spatial organization, both buildings present a central symmetrical plan and both use geometry as a tool for cohesion.
In the extension, this standard configuration also makes it possible to simplify the structural system and to organize the exhibition halls on the lower levels.
As for the ornamentation system, the Villa Planta’s ornaments speak of the Oriental influences of its origins, while in the extension, the compositional system of the facades reinforces its expressivity and autonomy with respect to the Villa. Each building displays its own identity, based on shared principles of structure and ornament, to strengthen the idea of a whole.
The process of the purging of extra elements which began with the designs for Piloña and Lausanne reaches a point of maturity in the Bündner Museum. Here, the design strips away everything that is not structure, construction, and programmatic division, all united in a single whole.