The exhibition building of the Sammlung Goetz was designed by the Swiss architects Jacques Herzog and Pierre de Meuron in 1989/90 and completed in 1993.
The elongated two-story gallery has an additional mezzanine located in a park-like garden.
The simple structure, which appears almost to float almost weightlessly, rests on a translucent pedestal. The facade of wood, glass, and aluminum is characterized by a strictly geometric structure. A flat roof with a continuous band of windows closes the building on top. In order to create optimal conditions for the presentation of artworks with a minimal floor plan, the spatial volumes were intelligently interlocked so that two nearly identical, daylit exhibition floors were created.
The entrance area is accessible via glass doors from both from the street side and the garden. From there, stairs lead to the building’s upper and lower floors. Diffuse glare-free daylight falls through the circumferential band of windows made of frosted glass in the exhibition rooms.
The base for this functional yet refined solution is an open reinforced concrete rectangular container, measuring 8 x 24 x 3 meters, which was sunk to its upper edge in the ground. Resting on it are two reinforced concrete tubes, which support a wooden construction of posts and transoms. This creates the exterior impression of a floating “box” of birch wood. Inside, the bricked and simply plastered walls, in interaction with the flush-fitted windows, create a harmonious space.
This early work of Herzog & de Meuron is an icon of contemporary architecture. It was their first exhibition building and made them internationally known. The collector Ingvild Goetz had originally planned it as a private collector’s gallery, but shortly after its inauguration in 1993 it was opened to the public.