Architectural studio Christ & Gantenbein has completed a museum for the Lindt chocolate brand alongside its headquarters in the city of Kilchberg, Switzerland, on Lake Zurich. Built next to the Lindt’s factory and corporate headquarters, it contains a museum dedicated to the history of chocolate and the brand.
Basel-based architectural studio Christ & Gantenbein designed the museum with a simple red brick outside to match the surrounding historic factory buildings. However, the entrance facade of the cuboid-shaped building is clad in white glazed brick. And, to create a focal point and public square, they form it in a curve shape.
“But the Lindt Home of Chocolate reacts with a cutout to form its entrance and a public space, so it doesn’t range in the purely utilitarian typology anymore. Through this curvature, it becomes somehow monumental,” it added. “The gesture is emphasized by the change of material.”
Inside, Christ & Gantenbein create a “playful” space to contrast the more utilitarian exterior. “There is a certain contrast between its rather hermetic envelope and an open and playful interior. The chocolate is implicitly celebrated with round shapes, a soft touch, and maybe even a general sweetness,” said the studio.
The museum is arranged around a large atrium – 64 meters long, 15 meters high, and 13 meters wide – which contains the largest chocolate fountain in the world, which is nine meters high and covered with an enormous whisk. Around the atrium a series of spiral staircases, circular weight-bearing pillars and circular balconies enliven the space.
“Almost reaching an ancient Roman scale, we’ve created an exaggeration of industrial production with a certain tension; a tension that gives a strong presence to the architecturally distinct elements that define the interior, bridging the substantial gap between a commercial ambience and classical grandeur. To celebrate the experience of chocolate in many ways, we’ve scripted the Lindt Home of Chocolate’s interior as a space that orchestrates the movement of people,” said Christ & Gantenbein co-founder Emanuel Christ.
Next to the atrium on the ground floor there will be a reception area, a 500 square meter shop and café, which also has outdoor seating. The museum exhibits including an interactive chocolate tour, designed by Atelier Brückner, placed on the top floor.