MAKING SPACE FOR THE ARTS:
DAVID CHIPPERFIELD ARCHITECTS
"He deals in dignity, in gravitas, in memory, and in art," wrote critic Rowan Moore of David Chipperfield for the Guardian. Lauded for his preference for the subtle over the showy, the British architect’s eponymous practice today spans offices in London, Berlin, Milan and Shanghai – metropolises from which courthouses in Barcelona, townhouses in New York, corporate HQs in Seoul, and cemetery enlargements in Venice are brought into being.
It’s in the domains of arts and culture, however, that DCA’s spatial nous, material integrity and sensitivity towards site specifics come to the fore. Take, for instance, the 2021-completed meticulous renovation of Mies van der Rohe’s Neue Nationalgalerie in Berlin, a stone’s throw from the city’s Museum Island, where his Neues Museum and James-Simon-Galerie exude a stoic serenity. On Chipperfield’s home turf of the United Kingdom, such esteemed institutions as London’s Royal Academy of Arts, the Turner Contemporary, and the Hepworth Wakefield count to the DCA portfolio.
As of October 2021, the cultural landscape in QWSTION’s home city of Zürich has too received the Chipperfield touch – with a new, freestanding extension building facing the main Kunsthaus museum on Heimplatz to propel the institution to its standing as Switzerland’s largest art museum. Clad in local Jurassic limestone – a choice of material that, in the words of David Chipperfield Architects Berlin, was “modelled on traditional stone façades” typical of the city’s architectural vernacular, the extension embodies the approach to materiality the practice has become known for: characterised by honesty, integrity, and restraint.
The visual potential of the building’s exterior limestone and interior brass tubes provided the impetus for our two 250-piece Limited Editions. “In typical DCA fashion, the materials were used in their ‘raw and real’ form,” notes Christian Kägi, QWSTION’s Creative Director. As a response to the new building, we digitally printed each texture onto two new designs, the Shopper and the Etui, both constructed from our 100% biodegradable Bananatex® fabric.