January 06, 2013



The CaixaForum is conceived as an urban magnet attracting not only art-lovers but all people of Madrid and from outside. The attraction will not only be CaixaForum's cultural program, but also the building itself, insofar that its heavy mass, is detached from the ground in apparent defiance of the laws of gravity and, in a real sense, draws the visitors inside.
The CaixaForum-Madrid stands on an advantageous site facing the Paseo del Prado and the Botanical Garden vis à vis. This new address for the arts is located in an area occupied until now by unspectacular urban structures, the Central Eléctrica Power Station, and a gas station. The classified brick walls of the former power station are reminiscences of the early industrial age in Madrid, while the gas station, a purely functional structure, was clearly out of place. Like a vineyard that could never develop its full potential because it was planted with the wrong grape, this prominent location could not develop its full potential. The demolition of the gas station created a small plaza between the Paseo del Prado and the new CaixaForum in the converted power station.
The only material of the old power station that we could use was the classified brick shell. In order to conceive and insert the new architectural components of the CaixaForum, we began with a surgical operation, separating and removing the base and the parts of the building no longer needed. This opened a completely novel and spectacular perspective that simultaneously solved a number of problems posed by the site. The removal of the base of the building left a covered plaza under the brick shell, which now appears to float above the street level. This sheltered space under the CaixaForum offers shade to visitors who want to spend time or meet outside, and at the same time, it is the entrance to the Forum itself. Problems such as the narrowness of the surrounding streets, the placement of the main entrance, and the architectural identity of this contemporary art institution are addressed and solved in a single urban and sculptural gesture.
The separation of the structure from the ground level creates two worlds: one below and the other above the ground. The "underworld" buried beneath the topographically landscaped plaza provides space for a theater/auditorium, service rooms, and several parking spaces. The multi-storied building above ground houses the entrance lobby and galleries, a restaurant and administrative offices. There is a contrast between the flexible and loft-like character of the exhibition spaces and the spatial complexity of the top floor with its restaurant / bar and the offices. The surprising sculptural aspect of the CaixaForum’s silhouette is no mere architectural fancy, but reflects the roofscape of the surrounding buildings.
Herzog & de Meuron, 2008

Herzog & de Meuron is a partnership led by five Senior Partners – Jacques Herzog, Pierre de Meuron, Christine Binswanger, Ascan Mergenthaler and Stefan Marbach.Jacques Herzog and Pierre de Meuron established their office in Basel in 1978. The partnership has grown over the years – Christine Binswanger joined the practice as Partner in 1994, successively followed by Robert Hösl and Ascan Mergenthaler in 2004, Stefan Marbach in 2006, David Koch in 2008, Esther Zumsteg in 2009, Andreas Fries in 2011, and Vladimir Pajkic in 2012. An international team of 31 Associates and about 330 collaborators are working on projects across Europe, North and South America and Asia. The firm’s main office is in Basel with additional offices in Hamburg, London, Madrid, New York and Hong Kong.
Herzog & de Meuron have designed a wide range of projects from the small scale of a private home to the large scale of urban design. While many of their projects are highly recognized public facilities, such as their stadiums and museums, they have also completed several distinguished private projects including apartment buildings, offices and factories. The practice has been awarded numerous prizes including “The Pritzker Architecture Prize“ (USA) in 2001, the “RIBA Royal Gold Medal“ (UK) and the “Praemium Imperiale“ (Japan), both in 2007.

Herzog & de Meuron latest completed project is the new Parrish Art Museum in Water Mill, NY, USA. The 115 year old museum opened the doors of its new faclity to the public on 10 November 2012. Herzog & de Meuron are currently working on the New Hall 1 for Messe Basel, Switzerland (planned completion April 2013); Roche Building 1, a 42-storey tower, which will anchor the Roche Basel Site within the urban setting of Basel, Switzerland (planned completion 2015); Actelion Research and Laboratory Building in Allschwil/ Basel, Switzerland (planned completion 2013); Stade Bordeaux Atlantique, a new 43.000 seat stadium for Bordeaux, France (planned completion 2015); Triangle, a new development for the Parc des Expositions at Porte de Versailles in Paris, France (planned completion 2017); Porta Volta Fondazione Feltrinelli, a master plan redefining the Porta Volta in Milan, Italy, consisting of two new office buildings and a generous green area (planned completion 2015); and Elbphilharmonie Hamburg, currently under construction, a mixed-use complex comprising a new philharmonic hall, a hotel, apartments and a public plaza, overlooking the Speicherstadt in Hamburg, Germany. Other current projects include the transformation of the Hong Kong Central Police Station, a high profile conservation project which will revitalise a unique cluster of historic structures in the centre of Hong Kong (planned completion 2014); Beirut Terraces, a multilayered high-rise residential project situated in the heart of the Lebanese capital, Beirut, Lebanon (planned completion 2015); Park Avenue Armory, the ongoing restoration and reinvention of a historical landmark building into a dynamic alternative arts space in New York, USA (projected completion 2015, first two pilot rooms completed in 2011); and the new São Paulo Cultural Complex Luz in São Paulo, Brazil (planned completion 2016), notably Herzog & de Meuron‘s first commission in South America. In May 2012, Herzog & de Meuron won the competition to design a new children’s hospital in Zürich, a project which envisions two complementary buildings of contrasting typology, programme and urban design; More recent projects include the concept study for a new gondola station at an altitude of 2262m, Toggenburg, Switzerland. Herzog & de Meuron have also been developing a residential and archive development in the Dreispitz area, Basel, Switzerland.

Herzog & de Meuron also work on urban designs: Burgos Bulevar, an eleven kilometers long urban landscape development through the city of Burgos, Spain, merging public and private transport with green/ park-like public spaces was completed in April 2012; and the master plan for Lyon Confluence in France, the urban redevelopment of the southern tip of the city‘s peninsula bracketed by the rivers Saône and Rhône (since 2009). In 2011, Herzog & de Meuron were commissioned to design the conceptual masterplan for the Skolkovo Institute of Science and Technology and its adjacent territories, near Moscow. The architectural vision behind the scheme aims to create a globally reputed centre for innovative twenty-first century technology, offering inherent urban quality through a vibrant mix of uses.
The Goetz Collection, a Gallery for a Private Collection of Modern Art in Munich, Germany (1992), stands at the beginning of a series of internationally acclaimed museum buildings, including Museum Küppersmühle in Duisburg, Germany (1999); Schaulager Basel, Laurenz Foundation, a new type of space for art, a warehouse for open storage of contemporary art, in Basel/Münchenstein, Switzerland (2003); followed by Walker Art Center Expansion in Minneapolis, USA (2005); de Young Museum in San Francisco, USA (2005); CaixaForum Madrid, a new exhibition space for Fundación “la Caixa” in Madrid, Spain (2008); and TEA, Tenerife Espacio de las Artes, Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain (2008). Perhaps the firm‘s highest profile museum project is the conversion of the Bankside power plant to Tate Modern in London, UK (2000). In 2005 Herzog & de Meuron were commissioned by Tate again to develop a scheme for the expansion of the gallery and its surrounding areas – The Tate Modern Project is projected for completion in 2016. The first phase of its extension, The Tanks - three circular industrial chambers over thirty metres across and seven metres high dedicated to exhibiting live art, performance, installation and film works - opened this year (18 July to 28 October 2012). The series continues with the Extension Musée Unterlinden in Colmar, France (projected completion 2014); Espacio Goya y Museo de Zaragoza in Zaragoza, Spain (2005- ); the new Pérez Art Museum Miami, Florida, USA (under construction, planned completion 2013); and the Barranca Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art in Guadalajara, Mexico. In 2008 Herzog & de Meuron were commissioned to design the Kolkata Museum of Modern Art, their first project in India. 


Jacques Herzog and Pierre de Meuron are both visiting professors at Harvard University, Graduate School of Design (GSD), USA, since 1994 (and in 1989). They are professors at the Swiss Federal Institute ofTechnology Zurich (ETH) – Department of Architecture, Network City and Landscape, since 1999, and co-founders of the ETH Studio Basel – Contemporary City Institute. The ETH Studio Basel started a research programme on processes of transformation in the urban domain. Their research activities are documented in various publications: “Switzerland. An Urban Portrait” (2006) investigating the urban condition of Switzerland; „Open – Closed: Canary Islands“ (2007) focusing on the urbanisation process on the Canary Islands; and “MetroBasel Comic. A Model of a European Metropolitan Region” (2009) on the development of the tri-national region of MetroBasel.
I recommend to see another news of Jacques Herzog & Pierre de Meuron  from my blog to click below web page.