Tuesday, October 11, 2016

New Audemars Piguet Museum: Work Starts In Le Brassus

In 2014, Audemars Piguet announced the results of an ambitious architectural contest for the extension of its museum, a project known as the “Maison des Fondateurs”. The winning design, submitted by the Danish architectural firm BIG (Bjarke Ingels Group), takes the form of a spiral emerging from the ground. Its walls are made entirely of curved glass and it is linked to the older Audemars Piguet building which was the original Audemars family home.

Two years of studies and preliminary work were necessary for this extremely complex design. “Our first challenge was to assemble the best partners, as it became apparent very quickly that no similar building had ever been built at this altitude,” says Sébastian Vivas, director of the Audemars Piguet Heritage Museum. Engineers, architects and museum designers searched for innovative solutions, both in terms of scenography and the building's structure and resistance to the climatic conditions.A life-size prototype of part of the spiral was also constructed and set up in the Vallée de Joux.
Practical work on the “Maison des Fondateurs” started at the end of August 2016. A battery of mechanical diggers, huge drills and other machines went into action around the older Audemars Piguet building where the museum is currently located. Several months of specialist work will be required to prepare the site before the first stone is laid: reinforcing the ground by drilling, constructing retaining walls, moving pipes, earthworks, etc.

The project is taking shape, although it will be some time before the 2,800 m2 of the new building emerges from the ground.

The Danish architectural firm BIG (Bjarke Ingels Group) is the creator of the project's spiral architecture and was selected for its creativity and sensitivity to the environment, after an invitation for design proposals was issued to several local and international firms of architects.

CCHE was designated as the project’s local architect and general planner. This important player from the Lake Geneva region has skills in town planning and architecture and will work in a cross-disciplinary way to monitor the project and ensure a flow of information between stakeholders, collaboration with the authorities, quality control and the execution of work. 

An expert in museum design, Atelier Brückner is the partner selected by Audemars Piguet to manage all the scenography, staging and showcasing of the timepieces, lighting and creation of the site visit. The German firm will bring the whole atmosphere of the new Museum to life.

Introductory route – The future “Maison des Fondateurs” will blend perfectly into the Vallée de Joux. The museum's historic building, which dates back to 1868, will be retained, enhanced and linked to a radically contemporary, half-buried structure.

The basis of the visit will be an introductory route following a spiral path.Visitors will cross several themed spaces where they will discover the origins of watch-making in the Vallée de Joux, the mechanical principles of the timepieces and an exceptional collection of world premier enamel complication watches. A number of exceptional watches will be on display, many of which will illustrate the story of design and including, of course, the iconic Royal Oak.

Exhibition rooms will alternate with watch-making workshops, relaxation spaces, sound and cinema laboratories and contemporary art, making the “Maison des Fondateurs” first and foremost a place for meeting, experiencing and sharing. There will also be reception and meeting spaces and an area devoted to the professional preservation of the archives and the Audemars Piguet Foundation. 

BIG – Bjarke Ingels Group
BIG is a group of architects, designers and thinkers based in Copenhagen and New York. The group is a specialist in the fields of architecture, town planning, research and development. Headed by eight partners, Bjarke Ingels, Andreas Klok Pedersen, Finn Nørkjær, David Zahle, Jakob Lange, Thomas Christoffersen and Managing Partners, Sheela Maini Søgaard and Kai-Uwe Bergmann, BIG is an international team of 200 employees working on projects that cover many different industries in more than 20 countries.

CCHE has been an important player in the Lake Geneva region for approximately one hundred years and over its three sites in Lausanne, Nyon and Le Sentier has a pool of expertise in the fields of architecture, interior architecture, design and execution. The firm can call on its multi-disciplinary team that works across the 5 sectors and 3 activity sites and includes 16 additional areas of work. Thanks to the effects of synergy, the firm can deal with projects of all sizes and offer its clients the flexibility and responsiveness of a small company while guaranteeing objectives in the same way as a large organisation. This desire to excel also takes the form of involvement in various international collaborations, in particular with BIG (Denmark) and Kengo Kuma (Japan), for the execution of large-scale projects. Training is at the heart of the company’s priorities and forms an integral part of CCHE values. The company’s 160 employees are continually updating their knowledge of current and future standards and of new technological tools. This allows them to remain at the cutting edge and provide incisive, customised solutions. CCHE has significant environmental and social responsibilities that will have an impact on future generations. It was the company's concern for the development of sustainable and responsible architecture that prompted it to commit to meeting the criteria that earned it EcoEntreprise certification in 2009.

Atelier Brückner
ATELIER BRÜCKNER designs since 1997 high quality narrative architecture, experience based exhibitions and cognitively as well as emotionally challenging projects of scenography. With more than 100 international projects, 200 awards and around 75 employees the scenographers, based in Stuttgart (Germany), are among the leaders at international level. Form follows content is ATELIER BRÜCKNER's design philosophy to create unique and content-driven narrative environments.

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