Paradoxically, the charm of the existing Cinémathèque lay in its simple and utilitarian appearance.
The home of the National Collective Film Memory presented itself as an unpretentious accumulation of sheds that was focused more on contents than on packaging. The extension project accepts this starting point and makes it its own. The layout of the existing buildings which are arranged linearly alongside each other is translated by new additions and remodeling into a composite, ambivalent form of parallel buildings of different lengths.
Ph: Damian Poffet
Only the end situation is differentiated by making a number of angled cuts; in this way the building acquires a face. The principle of placing buildings alongside each other is evident in the interior, too. The three main circulation routes, which are placed above one another, pass through the parallel cross-walls at right angles, allowing the sequential arrangement of the ‘individual’ buildings to be experienced. The suspended conference rooms in the two-story entrance and exhibition hall are in turn connected with each other by windows.
Ph: Damian Poffet
Looking across and through the building produces a perspective depth while also suggesting associations to filmic processes such as montage and cutting. While the public areas and all workplaces are concentrated in Penthaz I, the archive itself on the far side of the road is conceived as a purely underground storage space. In this way the functional and atmospheric side effects are restricted to an absolute minimum.
Penthaz II is a kind of super-functional bunker that ensures the best possible protection for the culturally valuable artefacts. In a simple manner a kind of urban disposition is achieved that, on the one hand, reacts to the expansiveness of the nearby agricultural landscape and on the other gives Cinémathèque Suisse as an institution an emphatically clear address. The new envelope of rusted steel, an industrial material that emanates a sensual quality, encases the entire complex and binds the new and the existing parts together. The gradual weathering of this natural material is a reference to the archive’s function in preserving film and gives the complex a differentiated identity of its own. The modulated, condensed roofscape composed of gently sloping, planted roofs takes up the theme of industrial production facilities or film studios.
Ph: Damian Poffet
DATE: 2007 (competition), 2008-2017 (planning), construction: 2010 – 2013 (1st phase), 2013 – 2015 (2nd phase), 2017 – 2019 (3rd phase) / LOCATION: Chemin de la Vaux 1, Penthaz, Switzerland / AREA: 13,110 m2 (built) / PROGRAM: Archive, Offices, Conference rooms, Workshops, Auditorium, Foyer, Cinema, Library / STATUS: built / DESIGN: EM2N / PARTNERS: Mathias Müller, Daniel Niggli / ASSOCIATES: Marc Holle, Christof Zollinger / PROJECT LEADERS: Bettina Baumberger, Jean-Baptiste Joye, Roger Küng / PROJECT TEAM (competition): Ruben Daluz, Phillippe Jorisch, Yoshihiro Nagamine, Noémi Necker, Miriam Rollwa / PROJECT TEAM (execution): Julia Berger, Stefan Berle, Laurent Chassot, Nadine Coetzee, Nicolas de Courten, Pascal Deschenaux, Melih Dilsiz, Yann Dubied, Ramona Elmiger, Amélie Fibicher, Marita Gelze de Montiel, Gregor Goldinger, Sebastian Knorr, Robert Kuijper, Andreas Lahti, Andrea Landell, Minka Ludwig, Raúl Mera, Stéphanie, Morel, Klaudija Oroshi, Fabien Oulevay, Jeremias Pellaton, Bernard Radi, Adriano Reis, Tanja Schmid, Daniela Sigg, Eva-Noemi Thiele, Agata Tyszecka, Danessa Urquiola, Jonas von Wartburg, Sven Ziegler, Michael Zürcher / CONSTRUCTION MANAGEMENT: Tekhne SA, a.planir sàrl / CONSULTANT: Brandenberg + Ruosch AG (Construction consultancy), Schnetzer Puskas Ingenieure AG, Boss & Associés Ingénieurs Conseils SA (Civil engineer), Basler & Hofmann AG (Facade planning), Gruenberg + Partner AG (Planning and coordination heating, ventilation, air-conditioning, cooling technology and Sanitary), IBG B. Graf AG, Josef Piller SA, Betelec SA (Electrical engineer), Kopitsis Bauphysik AG (Building physics), Applied Acoustics GmbH (Acoustics), CR Conseils Sàrl (Fire protection), Holliger Consult (Security), De Cérenville Géotechnique (Geologist – Geotechnical engineer), IBV Hüsler AG (Traffic planning), Studio Vulkan (Landscape architecture), HPB Consulting (Pollutant security), La Boite Visual Art, L’Immagine Ritrovata (Motion Design) / CLIENT: Federal Office for Buildings and Logistics FBL / PHOTOS: ©Damian Poffet