Museum Tinguely

Museum Tinguely, Basel - Switzerland, Mario Botta
Construction year: 1996
Address: Paul Sacher-Anlage 2 | BASEL | Switzerland | Visit Website
Latitude/Longitude: 47.55912, 7.61228

With Museum Tinguely situated on the Rhine, the architect Mario Botta created an unusual stage for Tinguely’s works. In the huge central hall alone there is space for twenty machine-sculptures. After visiting the Museum, the historical Solitude Park with its centenary trees, the promenade along the Rhine and the Bistro «Chez Jeannot» are an invitation to relax, stroll and enjoy the moment.

The southern façade of Museum Tinguely giving on to the river presents a special architectural feature: an elongated suspended section detached from the body of the building, constitutes a kind of riverbank promenade along which all museum visitors must proceed – an itinerary directing the visitor’s eye to the Rhine.

The façade giving on to the motorway in the east is very high, with three levels of exhibition spaces above ground level making it the tallest part of the building; it establishes a sound barrier towards the green spaces.

Facing the park, on the opposite side, the museum consists of five sections, three of which open onto the park through a wide porch. The northern façade runs parallel to the Grenzacherstrasse. A covered area between the street and the museum provides access to the park and the museum.

The Museum Tinguely interior on the ground floor may be divided by walls that can be raised and concealed in the ceiling. The static support system at this level is coordinated with a pre-existing, underground reservoir (five storeys deep) for treating the Rhine water.

The exhibition spaces consist of four areas of different design and on four different levels. The first storey (2.90 m above ground level) is reached via the Rhine promenade section; it forms a gallery, open to the ground floor on one side and the exhibition rooms on the other. At the end of this gallery, the visitor reaches the next storey (at the height of 7.85 m), a series of ‘classical’ rooms with daylight entering through slanted skylights. The route proceeds downwards to a level three metres below ground level, where works are shown that do not require daylight.

The visitor’s tour ends on the ground floor with the huge monumental sculptures. They occupy the museum’s largest exhibition space (30 x 60 m), divisible into five areas as mentioned above, and facing the park.

⇒ Architecture Guide to BASEL
⇒ Learn more about: