Swiss Haute Horlogerie manufacturer Audemars Piguet is delighted to open the Musée Atelier Audemars Piguet to the public. The new museum designed by BIG (Bjarke Ingels Group) unifies the original workshop, established by Audemars Piguet’s founders in 1875, with a new all-glass structure, made up of two spirals that seamlessly integrate into the existing landscape
The museum’s collection, which showcases some 300 timepieces, is displayed alongside two in-situ production workshops, creating a living museum. With a design that marries tradition and innovation, the Musée Atelier Audemars Piguet offers visitors a unique opportunity to delve into the history of watchmaking in the Vallée de Joux.
In 2014, BIG’s design for the new museum was selected by Audemars Piguet following an architectural competition to expand the brand’s historical premises and “illustrate the soul of the Manufacture,” according to Jasmine Audemars, Chairwoman of the Board of Directors. The result was a spiral-shaped pavilion, reminiscent of the spring in a timepiece movement, entirely supported by curved glass walls.
The elaborate architectural project was executed by teams of experts and artisans including CCHE, the local architecture firm who built the structure—the first of its kind at such altitude. The scenography imagined by internationally renowned ATELIER BRÜCKNER was constructed as a musical score, creating a dynamic experience for visitors. Visitors can observe watchmakers working within the curved glass walls of the museum and experience their expertise first-hand.
Sébastian Vivas, Audemars Piguet’s Heritage and Museum Director explains, “The Musée Atelier honours the Audemars and Piguet families who were part of a very long tradition of watchmaking. The new space, together with the traditional workshop, make for the perfect meeting place where visitors can engage with us and our watchmakers, whilst learning about the brand and the history of watchmaking in the region.”
The spiral pavilion also speaks to BIG’s, CCHE’s and Audemars Piguet’s shared engagement in environmental sustainability. The contemporary structure fulfils the latest Swiss Minergie® requirements in terms of energy efficiency and high quality construction.
Furthering the company’s cultural and artistic engagement, the Musée Atelier is also a fitting exhibition venue for a selection of artworks created by contemporary artists, commissioned by Audemars Piguet.