Dazzling timepieces: Exhibition design by Atelier Brückner
Location: Route de France 18, 1348 Le Brassus, Schweiz
Exhibition design, scenography, graphic design: Atelier Brückner
Architecture: BIG Bjarke Ingels Group
Light planning: Belzner Holmes
The double-spiralled roof rises out from the landscape yet also blends in with the low hills on the outskirts of Le Brassus. The small village in a high valley of the Swiss Jura mountains has become a centre of attraction for lovers of watches. The new Audemars Piguet Musée Atelier designed by BIG extends the watchmaker’s existing building, now restored, to form an exclusive venue for the public. The interior is devised in the form of a spatial continuum, with Atelier Bruckner’s exhibition design underscoring the flowing transitions still further. The full-height, load-bearing glazing of the curved outer walls merges indoors and outdoors into one, while sightlines through the interior and glimpses of the surroundings accompany visitors on their pathway through the exhibition. Reflections and shadows help determine the atmosphere of the museum, which presents itself from ever-new sides depending on the time of day and season of the year.
Pared-back material palette
Laid out in the form of a composed narration made up of individual chapters, the route through the museum with its displays of 300 timepieces leads clockwise into the heart of the spiral in clockwise fashion to then rise again in the opposite direction. Glass and brass, bleached ash and glossy black lacquer create an ambience that is exclusive yet not ostentatious. The precisely positioned showcases present masterpieces of horological craftsmanship without disrupting viewlines through the fluid sequence of spaces.
Route with individual stations
Some of the displayed timepieces have a close connection to the luxury watch brand going back to 1875, and include a pocket watch by Jules Louis Audemars in 18 carat pink gold that combines a perpetual calendar with a quarter repeating mechanism and an independent jumping second function. The oldest object in the exhibition is a pocket watch by Joseph Piguet from 1769. A focus is placed not only on the history of watchmaking but also on mechanical models that enable visitors to try out the technical interplay of the individual components for themselves, thus gaining an understanding of the functioning of flywheels, escapements and balance springs in the process.
The scenography by Atelier Brückner not only lends pride of place to the valuable chronograms placed on show, but also celebrates horological craftsmanship as an art. The interior of the Audemars Piguet Musée Atelier showcases time as a valuable quality – along with presenting the respective exquisite timepieces to match.