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Sumit Singhal
Sumit Singhal
Sumit Singhal loves modern architecture. He comes from a family of builders who have built more than 20 projects in the last ten years near Delhi in India. He has recently started writing about the architectural projects that catch his imagination.

IWC Museum in Schaffhausen, Switzerland by Smolenicky & Partner Architektur

November 13th, 2011 by Sumit Singhal

Article source: Smolenicky & Partner Architektur

Two phenomena were important in the project for the IWC museum:

  1. The clock. This museum is a place to showcase the IWC-clock as a small and precious object.
  2. The aesthetic context. In which world in terms of Interior Design do the customers want who purchase an IWC watch want to live?


View historical building

  • Architects: Smolenicky & Partner Architektur
  • Project: IWC Museum
  • Location: Baumgartenstrasse 15, CH-8201, Schaffhausen, Switzerland
  • client: IWC Schaffhausen, Branch of Richemont International SA
  • Architect Team: Joseph Smolenicky, project management: Philipp Röthlisberger; collaborators: Christoph
  • Herr, Simon Krähenbühl, Juan-Carlos Smolenicky; site manager: Christof Keller
  • kind of project:
  • Invited study commission 2005
  • Opening: june 2007
  • Floor area: 350 m2
  • Software used: ArchiCAD, Adobe Photoshop, Indesign, Cinema 4D

Waiting room 1

The clock and the emptied area

To create a strong presence of the watch, we used the a main principle for inside of all showcases: The emptied area. The interior of the showcases belongs only to the watches. In the west wing this principle is applied as follows: the showcase has a large, snow-white framework; in its center, on the eye level of the viewer, there is an area consisting from light. It does not have any delimitations into the depth – comparable to the installations of James Turell.

Waiting room 2

All other things as the necessary descriptions and explaining pictures are outside of the showcase. Meanwhil within this area without anything other the object of desire is floating. The central showcase in the east wing plays with a similar principle. In analogy to a historical Japanese safe deposit cabinet chromium steel stripes surround the showcase body and protect the watches. Simultaneously the steel strips polished in an intensity, that the material for the eye starts to dissolve.

By the visual peace in the showcase the eye focuses very directly and naturally on the clock. All showcases in the museum vary in various matters this principle of the emptied area.

Front stairs

The aesthetic context

The watches get surrounded by the contemporary interpretation of an English club. A club by its definition is a place where people meet, who share common interests and have similar aesthetic preferences. Dark Makassar veneers, polished chrome showcases, black painted frameworks, leather covered walls – these materials are memorized in our common aesthetic memory as the embodiment of luxury.

Front stairs

The aesthetic impression gets completed by the use of very up-to-date materials. The Walls recieve a wallpaper of metallically shining high-tech-fabric, showcases get by glass-fiber-reinforced plastic, metallized glasses cover up the stairway. Showcases are fillied with glossy satined glass. In the duality of modern and traditional materials emerges a complex and deep sphere of a place, which refers to a big past and at the same time radiating modernity. There is a fantastic expression for the atmosphere of this area: Laid back luxury.

Passage to the east wing

East wing, central complications showcase

East wing and passage to the boutique

Museum west wing

West wing view with mechanical showcase

Front stairs

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Categories: ArchiCAD, Cinema 4D, InDesign, Museum, Photoshop

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