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“Ostgut Freischwimmer” (2004), by the German artist Wolfgang Tillmans, on display at the Fondation Beyeler.
The current Fondation Beyeler building, designed by Renzo Piano. Credit
A rendering of the Beyelor museum’s extension, which will have education, event and display spaces. The project’s architect, Peter Zumthor, said the challenge is “to keep a good balance between events and art.”
Basel's Beyeler Builds Out for the Future
(15/Jun/2017)
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Ernst Beyeler got his first job in wartime Switzerland working for an antiquarian bookseller. When the bookseller died in 1945, Mr. Beyeler took over the Basel shop and turned it into a gallery.

 
By the mid-1960s, Mr. Beyeler was one of the world’s top modern-art dealers, selling works by Pablo Picasso, no less. He had also amassed a collection that included works by Giacometti, Braque, Miró and other giants of 20th-century art.
 
Today, the dealer and collector lives on through an institution that is Switzerland’s most visited art museum: the Fondation Beyeler in Basel, his birthplace. Inaugurated 20 years ago by Mr. Beyeler (13 years before his death), the foundation is based in an airy glass-fronted building by Renzo Piano, the Pritzker Prize winning Italian architect. That edifice is now getting a three-part extension designed by Peter Zumthor, a Pritzker winner from Basel.
 
The extension is needed because the original Piano building lacks education and events spaces and room to show the Beyeler’s expanding collection. Still, the museum is careful not to let the art be overtaken by everything else.
 
“The museum in the 21st century is also for people, not just for objects: If you extend, you also need to extend those kinds of spaces,” said Sam Keller, the Beyeler’s director. At the same time, “a museum shouldn’t give up what it is and has been: a safe place for objects which are important to keep for the future, and an ideal place to display art.”Ernst Beyeler got his first job in wartime Switzerland working for an antiquarian bookseller. The Zumthor extension will have three parts: a main building for art display, with three floors and windows overlooking the park; a small side building for offices; and a multipurpose garden pavilion that’s an open-access public space by day and by night can be turned into an auditorium, dining hall, concert hall or event site.
 
The Zumthor extension will have three parts: a main building for art display, with three floors and windows overlooking the park; a small side building for offices; and a multipurpose garden pavilion that’s an open-access public space by day and by night can be turned into an auditorium, dining hall, concert hall or event site.

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