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ETHNOGRAPHY MUSEUM, NEUCHÂTEL, SWITZERLAND (2003)

The botanical garden, located on the hill of St. Nicolas, is a central landmark in the cityscape of Neuchâtel. The program of the international competition launched by the Chamber of Neuchâtel, provides for the renovation and expansion of the existing museum installed in a set composed by Villa Pury and two buildings added to it in the 1950’s and the 1980’s.

The Project is structured around four points emerging in the garden from the ground and the interior of the existing buildings:

1. A plateau-belvedere, designed as a fold on the slope, extends the plateau where the Villa is implanted and in which the main lobby and auditoriums are to be built;

2. An open sunk courtyard brings natural light to the underground wing, linking the lobby and the exhibition centre, while leaving the fundamental elements of the garden untouched;

3. A sharply defined building dominates the old tennis courts, which contains the permanent exhibition;

4. A curtain, wrapping the two buildings adjacent to Villa Pury and unifying them, controls the solar incidence and recovers the presence of Villa Pury as a landmark.

 

Design Team:

Architecture: José Neves

Collaborators: Jaime Barbosa, Maria Vladimira,  Rui Sousa Pinto.