Architecture

It's about time: BIG designs spiraling green-roofed watch museum

It's about time: BIG designs s...
Musée Atelier Audemars Piguet's spiraling design is conceived as the internal spring of a timepiece
Musée Atelier Audemars Piguet's spiraling design is conceived as the internal spring of a timepiece
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Musée Atelier Audemars Piguet's green roof helps it blend into the beautiful Swiss landscape
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Musée Atelier Audemars Piguet's green roof helps it blend into the beautiful Swiss landscape
Musée Atelier Audemars Piguet is located among the historical complex of workshops and factories in Le Brassus in La Vallée de Joux, Switzerland
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Musée Atelier Audemars Piguet is located among the historical complex of workshops and factories in Le Brassus in La Vallée de Joux, Switzerland
Musée Atelier Audemars Piguet's spiraling design is conceived as the internal spring of a timepiece
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Musée Atelier Audemars Piguet's spiraling design is conceived as the internal spring of a timepiece
Musée Atelier Audemars Piguet's glazed walls support its steel roof, meaning that there are no internal columns to obstruct the view
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Musée Atelier Audemars Piguet's glazed walls support its steel roof, meaning that there are no internal columns to obstruct the view
Musée Atelier Audemars Piguet's interior measures 2,373 sq m (roughly 25,500 sq ft)
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Musée Atelier Audemars Piguet's interior measures 2,373 sq m (roughly 25,500 sq ft)
Musée Atelier Audemars Piguet's watchmakers can spend up to eight months working on a single timepiece and visitors can observe some of them going about their painstaking work
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Musée Atelier Audemars Piguet's watchmakers can spend up to eight months working on a single timepiece and visitors can observe some of them going about their painstaking work
Musée Atelier Audemars Piguet serves as an extension that's connected to the main museum building, which has also received a recent renovation
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Musée Atelier Audemars Piguet serves as an extension that's connected to the main museum building, which has also received a recent renovation
Musée Atelier Audemars Piguet's exterior has a brass mesh screen attached to provide shading inside
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Musée Atelier Audemars Piguet's exterior has a brass mesh screen attached to provide shading inside
Musée Atelier Audemars Piguet's green roof helps insulate the building from sun and the extreme cold that's experienced throughout winter
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Musée Atelier Audemars Piguet's green roof helps insulate the building from sun and the extreme cold that's experienced throughout winter
Musée Atelier Audemars Piguet is located near BIG's sloping Audemars Piguet Hôtel des Horlogers, which is still under construction
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Musée Atelier Audemars Piguet is located near BIG's sloping Audemars Piguet Hôtel des Horlogers, which is still under construction
Musée Atelier Audemars Piguet's interior includes an exhibition with 300 high-quality timepieces
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Musée Atelier Audemars Piguet's interior includes an exhibition with 300 high-quality timepieces
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The Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) recently completed a new museum and workshop for Swiss luxury watchmaker Atelier Audemars Piguet. It's a superb building defined by an attractive spiraling design and is topped by a green roof that helps it take its place well amid the rolling landscape.

Musée Atelier Audemars Piguet is situated among the existing workshops and factories in Le Brassus, La Vallée de Joux, Switzerland. It's also a stone's throw away from BIG's under-construction Audemars Piguet Hôtel des Horlogers, which you can take a sneak peek at on the left of the photograph below.

Musée Atelier Audemars Piguet is located near BIG's sloping Audemars Piguet Hôtel des Horlogers, which is still under construction
Musée Atelier Audemars Piguet is located near BIG's sloping Audemars Piguet Hôtel des Horlogers, which is still under construction

Musée Atelier Audemars Piguet's spiraling form was conceived in collaboration with local architecture office CCHE (Atelier Brückner, HG Merz, Lüchinger und Meyer, and Müller Illien were also involved). The building's generous curved glazing consists of 108 glass panels, each of which took three weeks to fabricate. These fill the interior with daylight and also provide structural support for its steel roof, which is in turn covered with greenery, helping to insulate it. A brass mesh screen on the exterior adds shade too.

The interior measures 2,373 sq m (roughly 25,500 sq ft) and is laid-out in a spiral path, with the idea being that visitors travel through the building "as they would the spring of a timepiece." An exhibition displaying 300 of Atelier Audemars Piguet's finest timepieces takes pride of place, though there are workshop areas too. This is a nice touch and allows visitors to observe watchmakers going about their painstakingly intricate craft – for example, a timepiece may spend up to eight months in the hands of a single watchmaker.

"To offer visitors a diverse experience with crescendos, highpoints and contemplative moments, German museum designer Atelier Brückner imagined the composition of the exhibition as a musical score," explains Atelier Audemars Piguet. "Interludes, including sculptures, automata, kinetic installations and mock-ups of intricate mechanical movements, give life and rhythm to various aspects of horological technique and design."

Musée Atelier Audemars Piguet's interior includes an exhibition with 300 high-quality timepieces
Musée Atelier Audemars Piguet's interior includes an exhibition with 300 high-quality timepieces

At the center of the watch exhibition is a special timepiece created by the firm back in 1899. Named Universelle, the pocket watch is Atelier Audemars Piguet's most complex creation to date and has over 20 complications and 1,168 individual components.

If you'd like to pay a visit and see it for yourself, the Musée Atelier Audemars Piguet is due to open in early July.

Sources: BIG, Atelier Audemars Piguet

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1 comment
wle atlanta
where are the g shocks?:}