Benches for the history of Switzerland

Extension to the Swiss National Museum in Zurich

After around fifteen years of planning and building work, the rather outdated looking National Museum has finally had its much-needed facelift.

This has created plenty of space for new installations, a spacious new entrance area with a museum shop, restaurant facilities and a library for study and research, an auditorium and a new study centre.

For the entrance area of the extension to the National Museum, curved benches have been produced to follow the arc of the groups of trees.

Well-executed implementation planning by Vogt Lanschaftsarchitekten AG smoothed the way for developing and planning the curved benches. Mapping the terrain with a 3D laser enabled construction planning data to be recorded, ensuring that the complex integration of the benches and vertices could be planned with precision accuracy.

In the week before the opening, around 60 linear metres of curved benching were calibrated and assembled over a period of two days. This was made possible by prefabricating all of the bench components.

Made of solid larch wood, the slats retain their shape due to the steam-bending process and no gluing is required. The surface of the wood was also finished with a pigmented oil. The oil helps to protect the natural wood against excessive moisture when it rains and delays the natural greying process of the wood. The oil treatment can be refreshed annually in easy steps without the need for time-consuming sanding.