Art belongs to everyday life in Zurich’s public spaces

Art is present in every corner of Zurich. The Swiss dynasty of painters, the Giacomettis, left their mark in museums and other institutions, making them the most beautiful in the world.

Zurich simply has everything. In addition to around 60 museums and more than 100 galleries, there is a lake with various opportunities for swimming and related activities, a treasure trove of culture for curious city explorers and around 2,000 restaurants. Zurich’s neighbourhoods are sometimes hip, sometimes multicultural, sometimes industrial, sometimes historic. In any case, definitely something you want to discover.

The new extension of the Kunsthaus Zürich, designed by British architect David Chipperfield,  opened in autum 2021. The extensive central hall offers new public spaces. A multi-functional banquet hall can also be used a concert venu. In addition, the so-called Art Garden creates an organic connection to the surrounding neighborhood.

Kunsthaus Zürich is now the largest art museum in Switzerland. Working in conjunction with the existing building, the cube-like structure creates an imposing ensemble and provides additional exhibition space for the Kunsthaus’s world-class collection.

It is known for its permanent collectionsm as well as internationally acclaimed temporary exhibitions. In addition to works of old masters, you can admire the famous paintings by Picasso, Monet and Chagall and numerous contemporary artists such as Fischli/Weiss or Sylvie Fleury. The Kunsthaus also houses the most extensive collection of the artwork by the renowned Swiss artist Alberto Giacometti, who is best known for his sculptures.

Those who explore Zurich in detail will find art on every corner – in buildings of architectural significance, art installations in public places or in the middle of parks and gardens, inviting you to enjoy art outdoors.

The new extension of the Kunsthaus Zürich, designed by British architect David Chipperfield, opened in autum 2021.

Art belongs to everyday life in Zurich’s public spaces. The city is a stage for installations that delight and initiate conversation. The city of Zurich actively promotes free public art for everyone. On a short tour through Zurich, art lovers, city explorers and amateur and professional photographers have the opportunity to enjoy in numerous pieces of art.

Thanks to Augusto Giacometti, Zurich has probably the most beautiful police station entrance hall in the world, located in the city centre.

Gustav Gull, until 1900 Zurich’s municipal architect and mastermind behind the National Museum, was entrusted with the task of converting a former orphanage into a municipal building to house the city police headquarters. To save space, the vaulted ceiling of what was previously a cellar was transformed into the entrance area.

In 1922, the City of Zurich launched a competition to paint the entrance hall, to brighten up the gloomy space, thus creating opportunities for local artists to express themselves. Augusto Giacometti won the competition with ease. His design, in warm red and ochre tones, was executed between 1923 and 1925 using the al fresco and al secco techniques.

The ceiling and vault paintings comprise ornamental floral designs and geometric patterns. The walls, meanwhile, depict people at work – stone carvers and carpenters represent the handicraft trade, while astronomers and magicians denote science. Nowadays, the art-in-architecture work, which was extensively restored in 2019, is considered to be of national importance.

Thanks to Augusto Giacometti, Zurich has probably the most beautiful police station entrance hall in the world, located in the city centre.

The locals affectionately refer to the Giacometti Hall as the Blüemlihalle (“the hall of little flowers“) due to its design featuring countless ornamental flowers. This is probably the world’s most beautiful police station entrance hall by far.

Augusto Giacometti (1877–1947) created the choir windows in the Grossmünster in 1933, as well as a stained-glass window in the Fraumünster in 1945. He came from the famous Giacometti dynasty of painters, along with Giovanni Giacometti and sculptor Alberto Giacometti.

Also, urban adventurers can find numerous hidden cultural treasures in the heart of the city. These are tranquil oases for relaxation, exquisitely designed gardens, or particularly beautiful public institutions. Many locals are familiar with them, but for tourists, they are yet unknown gems, worth of exploration which make a visit to Zurich all the more special.

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