The building of Christ & Gantenbein Architects met on a net floor area of approximately 8,000 m2 all requirements in an outstanding manner. Inside, it offers well-proportioned museum exhibition spaces with optimal lighting conditions. The new building also fits harmoniously into the heterogeneous city structure, occurs simultaneously in a self-conscious dialogue with the prominent main building and shines like a lighthouse in the city.
With the expansion, there will be more space for special exhibitions. In addition 50% more of the collection is made publicly available. The collection of the Gallery and the Kupferstichkabinett will be presented in the main house with temporary exhibitions. In the extension special exhibitions with works from 1960 to 1990 are shown. The presentation of the collection, as well as temporary exhibitions featuring works from 1990 takes place at the Museum of Contemporary Art, in close connection with the Emanuel Hoffmann Foundation.
Building costs for the extension amount to CHF 100 million. The Greater Council will make a decision this year on Basel-Stadt canton’s financial contribution of CHF 50 million. The same amount, which has to be raised in the private sector, has already been donated by the Laurenz Foundation. In doing so, the Foundation makes a key contribution to implementing this project which is so important for the museum and the city of Basel.
In 2008, the canton was able to take advantage of a unique opportunity to purchase a piece of land close to the art museum, thanks to a generous donation by Dr. Maja Oeri.