In April 2016 the 8,000-square-meter extension of the Kunstmuseum Basel was opened. Just a few steps from the Rhine, the Swiss architects Christ & Gantenbein erected a solitary gray structure that is connected through an underground hall with the main building. The façade of the museum consists of bricks, in red and yellow tones, which were extracted with nitrogen. Through the chemical process of the material, the building appears like a coarse-grained, black-and- white photograph in the middle of the city. Darker bricks were rather used on the lower part of the building whereas the material becomes successively brighter towards the top, forming a gentle color gradient.
“We wanted the new building to speak the same language as the existing structure with its mighty walls and distinctive horizontal stripes. At the same time, however, we wanted to tell a completely distinct, new story.” - Christ & Gantenbein
In the extension of the Kunstmuseum Basel, a conscious decision was made for a material that stands for timelessness, sustainability and structural precision: The entire outer shell of the façade gets by without a single expansion joint.