Kunsthaus Zürich Extension

Precise Craftsmanship Covering 4,600 m2

The recently completed extension to the Kunsthaus Zürich museum, designed by David Chipperfield Architects Berlin, is an outstanding example of the use of wooden flooring as a design element in modern architectural concepts. Here nature has been successfully translated into architectural precision on a floor space covering 4,600 m2 without adulterating the fundamental character of wood as a raw material. Thousands of individual oak floorboards form a precise floor pattern whose joins form a line running through the rooms, whereby a rich dialogue develops with the other elements of the room’s shell – raw concrete and brass. The generous surface extends from room to room and is separated only by the central frieze without interrupting the perspective of the pattern. 

Precise Craftsmanship Covering 4,600 m2

The recently completed extension to the Kunsthaus Zürich museum, designed by David Chipperfield Architects Berlin, is an outstanding example of the use of wooden flooring in modern architectural concepts. Here nature has been successfully translated into architectural precision on a floor space covering 4,600 m2 without adulterating the fundamental character of wood as a raw material. Thousands of individual oak floorboards form a precise floor pattern, whose joins form a line running through the rooms.

Low Maintenance thanks to Refining

The top wear layer is refined in an elaborate process requiring up to 100 hand movement per square metre. The result is a wooden floor surface boasting a quality standard that simplifies maintenance without disrupting the daily routine – as a rule, there is no need to sand down the oiled surface even in the most heavily frequented public buildings.

Jan Parth, Project Manager, David Chipperfield Architects Berlin

“The way in which the wooden floor in the extension to the Kunsthaus Zürich museum has been executed is a wonderful example of a very high quality of craftsmanship. Because of the shape of the tree trunk they were cut from, wooden floorboards have greatly varying widths. Wimmer succeeded in manufacturing the large number of floorboards with varying widths in such a way that the fitters from GDM Parkette were able to lay the joins in a line running throughout the whole room. Realising such precision in the floor pattern is really an outstanding achievement. You will rarely find such a standard of craftsmanship.”

Hand-picked Quality

Such a precise composition of the floor pattern requires a sophisticated manufacturing process, as the wooden floorboards have different widths and lengths due to the natural, round shape of the trees. The veneer from almost 100 oak trees was hand-picked, sorted and individually numbered to achieve the desired floor pattern.

Dimensionally Stable and in line with Strict Sustainability Guidelines

The raw material for the wooden floor comes entirely from sustainable forestry, and the floorboards are engineered in three layers. That means only the 5 mm top layer is made of precious oak. The base is made of fast growing spruce, and the bonding is emission-free. This has a further benefit: the layers reduce movement thus giving the wooden floor dimensional stability.

Long-term Retention of Colour

A key issue was the floor’s colour tone. A quality had to be ensured whereby the beholder’s perception of the colour of this essential element of the interior architecture remained unchanged over a long period of time. Our production method includes colouring as an integral part of the refining process, whereby colour penetrates deeply into the wood and over the years will develop harmoniously with the patina on the surface. Furthermore, the coordinated colour is retained over a long period of time. A bespoke colour tone based on the Wimmer SAND collection was developed for the wooden floors in the extension.

www.kunsthaus.ch
www.davidchipperfield.com

©Noshe
©Amt für Städtebau Zürich, Juliet Haller
©Wimmer Holzbodenmanufaktur

User: Kunsthaus Zürich / Zürcher Kunstgesellschaft, CH Architects: David Chipperfield Architects Berlin, D Wooden flooring / production Wimmer Holzbodenmanufaktur, Töging, D Wooden flooring / installation GDM Parkette, CH Surface area of wooden flooring 4,605 m² (exhibition rooms and event space) Surface  Brushed, oiled, waxed Grade  Fine/natural Colour  Bespoke SAND colour Structure  Three-layer structure (spruce base, 5 mm precious wood top layer) Laying pattern  Long Wimmer floorboards (4-7m / 20-40cm) ladder pattern with frieze (40 cm) Number of individual floorboards  3,605, individually marked Average surface area/floorboard 1.3 m² Average weight/floorboard 15-25 kg Production manpower/time 15 master craftsman and qualified skilled workers, 6 months’ work Surface processing 5 treatments (equal to 23,000 m2) Delivery and installation Over a period of 8 months from February 2019 Quantity of wood  Approx. 80-100 oak trees (diameter at least 60-80cm) Certification 100% PEFC certified (means 100% sustainable forestry) Slip resistance category R10

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