Swiss chocolatier Lindt & Sprüngli adds a striking new chocolate museum to its HQ
Basel-based architecture practice Christ & Gantenbein has created a ‘Home of Chocolate’ for renowned Swiss chocolatier Lindt & Sprüngli, as part of the company’s lakeside campus outside Zurich.
Complementing an existing factory, warehouses and office building in the small town of Kilchberg – which Lindt & Sprüngli has long called home – the new project is intended as a public-facing museum, hosting exhibitions, a research facility, offices and chocolateria, as well as a chocolate shop, café and the world’s largest chocolate fountain.
Although the exterior takes on a simple and industrial form – as a classically composed, brick-clad box in dialogue with the surrounding factory buildings – the interior boasts a vast triple-height atrium, 64 metres long, at the heart of the building.
Here, a robust concrete structure comprises a series of round, mushroom pillars, complemented by semicircular cantilevered balconies and circular rooflights.
“Almost reaching an ancient Roman scale, we’ve created an exaggeration of industrial production with a certain tension,” says Christ & Gantenbein co-founder Emanuel Christ.
“[It’s] a tension that gives a strong presence to the architecturally distinct elements that define the interior, bridging the substantial gap between a commercial ambiance and classical grandeur.”
He continues: “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.” Spiral staircases, walkways and bridges indeed do produce spatial and experiential connectivity inside the building.
The Lindt Home of Chocolate is Christ & Gantenbein’s second completed cultural project in Zurich, after the concrete-dominated extension to the National Museum Zurich.
All photographs by Walter Mair