Affoltern am Albis, Switzerland | 2014


With the extension of the Collection Center in Affoltern am Albis comes the opportunity to significantly rethink the architecture for the housing of important heritage objects. The prominent location of the addition mandates an architecture that will not only represent the gateway to the city but be an honorific landmark. Beyond being an efficient storage and preservation facility, the extension symbolically represents the national importance of the objects housed within. The architecture of the existing facility while originally developed as an armory is architecturally most closely associated with a factory in its clear distribution of functional space and circulation. The new architecture must do this and more. While the facility is not open to the general public, it nevertheless must deliver a strong public presence. In essence this institution is a contemporary manifestation of a treasury; it must reflect the importance of the objects within. Our proposal is a synthesis of rational planimetrics with a crystalline envelope harmonious with the regional terrain as well as being in dialogue with the architecture of fortifications. Like ramparts, whose robust features are a rational synthesis of landscape and building, the collection center is literally and symbolically in equipoise – balanced yet resisting the effects of time.

Project Info

Finalist International Competition  |  Type: Storage, Exhibition Space, Cafeteria  |  Structure: Multiple


Project Credits


Jesse Reiser + Nanako Umemoto


Design Team

Michael Overby, Neil Cook, Hilary Simon, Ryosuke Imaeda


Structural Consultant

ARUP, Mahadev Raman, PE. 77 Water St, New York NY 10005 USA


Architectural Consultant

Caretta+Weidmann, Switzerland


Model Fabricator

Re:art, Yasuhito Furuyama, Japan

Copyright © 2021 RUR Architecture D.P.C.

All Rights Reserved.