Selective competition, place for culture (collection of the Foundation for Art, Culture and History, SKKG), working and living, 2023
A Collection for Everyone
As a new urban building block, CAMPO complements the developments around Eulachpark in Oberwinterthur. The new neighbor enriches the neighborhood with its diverse programmatic mix of cultural, commercial, work and residential uses, and houses the 80.000 pieces strong collection of the SKKG. The identity of this diverse cultural site is reflected in the urban configuration: The broken up perimeter block with a generous interior courtyard symbolizes both togetherness and openness. A family of buildings is grouped around the depot of the collection as a topography that can be walked on and experienced.
Even from a distance, the collection house with the hangar can be recognized as a cultural landmark and public use. The depot is the heart of the Foundation for Art, Culture and History. Even though it is not open to the public, its dimension as a collective shared cultural heritage is always present and forms the foundation of the entire project. Upon entering the foyer, the visitor senses a peculiarity in the flooring: reused terracotta stones form the ceiling of the depot on which one finds oneself. The walls of the depot are made of clay, large-format stones, whose massiveness can be physically felt – both inside and outside, where large-format circular windows provide a view into the depot for the curious. Room-high glass showcases display a cross-section of the exhibits and frame a colorful flight of steps leading to the two-story hangar space with exhibition areas. This is where “work, research, presentation, experience and mediation” take place – the flexible column-free space connects the other public uses such as the library, café, think tank and auditorium as a spatial center, and expands into the outside courtyard space as needed.
The elongated courtyard is the lively center and connecting meeting space of the site. It is publicly accessible via a generous external staircase. Different height levels divide it into two areas. Both areas are designed as flexibly usable outdoor spaces that are continuously redesigned in a participatory process with all parties involved. This is especially true of the upper courtyard, where the residents of the apartments are explicitly invited to appropriate and help shape the spaces. Here I can grow my tomatoes or have an after-work beer with the neighbors. The lower courtyard is articulated with a few landscaping elements that include plantings and water elements. As a robust outdoor space, the remaining space offers great flexibility for a wide variety of uses: Outdoor catering, outdoor work, talk events, special exhibition installations or participatory projects related to the hangar, weekend market or outdoor mediation.
The collection is present in many ways – both physically and conceptually – throughout the building complex. On the one hand, the collection objects appear in unexpected combinations, integrated into different spatial typologies from the foyer to the hangar and from the apartments to the restaurants. Incorporated into the activities of daily life, they take on new meaning and use through various activities. On the other hand, the collection serves as a permanent subject for mediation, research and public program activities. From hangars to public courtyards, local communities-from local clubs and students to experts and scholars – are invited to take an active role in interpreting, studying, and discussing the collection.