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The museum expansion

Herzog & de Meuron

The museum expansion

A new cultural and urban regeneration initiative

The City of Colmar has launched an ambitious expansion project that will allow the Unterlinden Museum to annex the premises of Colmar’s former municipal baths, a magnificent Art Nouveau edifice built in 1906 and located opposite the museum. In addition to this annex, the project includes the construction of a modern building and the refurbishment and redesign of the current museum premises. This expansion project will result in a twofold increase in the museum’s surface area, bringing it to nearly 8,000 square meters. Many masterpieces, especially works of modern and contemporary art, currently stored in the museum’s vaults, will finally be able to be presented to the public thanks to an innovative exhibition space design.
With its new configuration, the Unterlinden Museum embraces a bold and contemporary vision: that of a substantially modernised museum, in considerably larger and remodelled premises. The expansion project invents a new museum, one in which education and the initiation to art appreciation represent core priorities and one that takes advantage of the most recent advances in information technology and communication systems for the greater enjoyment of its visitors. This new conception takes an open approach to the museum experience, designed to reach the widest audience possible.

The operation also represents a major urbanisation project for the City of Colmar, certain to further enhance the attractiveness of the Alsace region for tourists. Apart from serving as a cultural initiative benefiting the entire region, the expansion and redesign of the Unterlinden Museum will serve as a driver of urban regeneration, economic development and social cohesion.


Key figures

Cost of the operation: €24.5 million, before taxes
Total surface area: 7,900 square meters
Expected attendance: 500,000 visitors each year
Cultural budget allocation by the City of Colmar: 16%


General timetable

2007-09: Project study and selection of the project architects, the firm of Herzog & de Meuron
2011: Architectural design phase
2012: Launch of construction and refurbishment phase
September 2014: Grand opening


The museum expansion

View of the newe entrance of the Musée Unterlinden © Herzog & de Meuron.