Skip to content
search
Art Design The Musée Atelier Audemars Piguet Is A Spiral Museum Amid The Swiss Alps

The Musée Atelier Audemars Piguet Is A Spiral Museum Amid The Swiss Alps

The Musée Atelier Audemars Piguet Is A Spiral Museum Amid The Swiss Alps
By Hong Xinying
By Hong Xinying
June 29, 2020
Add this to your travel bucket list for future trips—this new pavilion designed by Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) houses the legacy of Audemars Piguet, and is a sight to behold for horologists and design lovers alike

Located in the Swiss town of Le Brassus lies a newly-minted museum that cycles back in time, chronicling 145 years’ of history of the luxury watchmaker Audemars Piguet. 

(Related: 5 Things To Know About The Audemars Piguet [Re]master01 Selfwinding Chronograph)

The Musée Atelier Audemars Piguet, designed by Danish practice BIG (Bjarke Ingels Group)
The Musée Atelier Audemars Piguet, designed by Danish practice BIG (Bjarke Ingels Group)

The Musée Atelier Audemars Piguet, which just opened its doors on June 25, is designed by Danish practice BIG (Bjarke Ingels Group) and executed by Swiss architecture firm CCHE, whilst German practice Atelier Brückner created a dynamic scenography in the style of a musical score for the institution. It incorporates a museum as well as an archive and workshop—it was built to connect to the recently renovated historic house and watchmaking studio of its founders Jules Louis Audemars and Edward Auguste Piguet.

(Related: The Artling's Talenia Phua Gajardo Shares Her Favourite Online Art Resources To Enjoy From Home)

The museum's spiral design integrates the
surrounding landscape in a valley among the Jura mountains in Switzerland
The museum is located in the Vallée de Joux in Le Brassus, Switzerland, where the founding workshop is located
An aerial view of the museum
A view of the museum at dusk
 

The building’s spiralling design references the shape of a watch spring, while serving as a metaphor for the complex movements in each Audemars Piguet timepiece. Curved glass walls support the entire structure, with brass mesh applied to its exterior to regulate the temperature and light conditions in its interior while providing unblocked views of the valley. 

“Watchmaking, like architecture, is the art and science of imbuing metals and minerals with energy, movement, intelligence and measure,” says Bjarke Ingels, founder and creative director of BIG, reflecting on the inspiration behind its design. “Unlike most machines and most buildings today that have a disconnect between the body and the mind, the hardware and the software, for the Musée Atelier Audemars Piguet we have attempted to completely integrate the geometry and the performance, the form and the function, the space and the structure, the interior and the exterior in a symbiotic whole.”

The Universelle (1899), the most complicated watch ever produced by Audemars Piguet, surrounded by an array of timepieces at the museum
The museum's curved glass walls offer unblocked views of the valley. 
Its spiral structure is entirely supported by curved glass walls, with a brass mesh that runs
along the exterior to regulate temperature and light, without obstructing the view
 

At the heart of the museum is the Universelle pocket watch—constructed in 1899, it is said to be the more complex timepiece in existence. “The Musée Atelier Audemars Piguet is a unique place of discovery, learning and conviviality, where knowledge and savior-faire are passed on to the next generation,” says Sebastian Vivas, Audemars Piguet’s heritage and museum director. “The technical complexity of its architecture and scenography connects it to the highly complicated movement of a Grand Complication.”

The wheelchair-accessible museum is currently accepting by-appointment visits and guided tours on weekdays for the rest of this year; tickets can be booked online via its website.

(Related: The Tatler Guide to Building Your Own Museum)

Tags

Art & Design Tatler Homes musee audemars piguet bjarke ingels museum switzerland travel watches

clear
keyboard_arrow_up

In order to provide you with the best possible experience, this website uses cookies. For more information, please refer to our Privacy Policy.

close