Good news for lovers of art and culture: a series of interesting new museums will be opening throughout 2020. Among the first of these will be the Audemars Piguet Museum in Switzerland, designed by BIG.

Very shortly, Swiss luxury watchmaker Audemars Piguet will be opening up its new museum. Bjarke Ingels Groupe (BIG) has been commissioned with expanding the company’s historic headquarters. Measuring 2,400 m² in the shape of a double spiral, the pavilion blends in seamlessly with the surrounding landscape.

Watch museum in Le Brassus, Switzerland
The slope of the roof means that the exhibition rooms get plenty of daylight…

Maison des Fondateurs, BIG
…not to mention superb views of the landscape.

In the direct vicinity of the historic workshops in Le Brassus, right at the heart of the Vallée de Joux, the new museum – Maison des Fondateurs – will be embedded in the landscape, its buildings merging with the hilly fields of the valley.

Bjarke Ingels Groupe, APM
Nestling in the hills and covered by the landscape…

APM in Le Brassus
…between the old warehouse and the old townhouse belonging to the time-honoured watchmaker.

APM “Maison des fondateurs”
Audemars Piguet Museum

Project: Audemars Piguet Museum “Maison des Fondateurs”; Architect: BIG; Project manager: Daniel Sundlin; Team: Bjarke Ingels, Thomas Christoffersen, Ji-Young Yoon, Jason Wu, Otilia Pupezeanu, Natalie Kwee, Beat Schenk, Dammy Lee, Blake Smith, Marie Lancon, Yaziel Juarbe, Julien Beauchamp-Roy, Kristian Hindsberg, Pauline Lavie; Project partners: HG Merz, Lüchinger+Meyer, Muller Illien; Location: Le Brassus, Switzerland; Area: 2,400 m²

High-profile Danish architectural firm BIG created a spiral-shaped construction that tells visitors a story, blending old and new. Here, guests can trace the linear progression of rooms and events – from the entrance through lounges, galleries and workshops to the loft of the historic building in the workshop where it all began. This is also reflected in the choice of materials: concrete and brass, with surfaces made of wood and stone.

Dilemma resolved by double spiral

With the interwoven spirals, the team consisting of BIG, HG Merz, Lüchinger+Meyer and Muller Illien resolved the dilemma of how to combine the gallery and workshop logistics. As described on, the three workshops form a continuous working space while being surrounded by galleries.

Nestling in the landscape

APM: double spiral

The roof and ceiling of the pavilion are a single steel construction with a brass covering. While continuous in the floor plan, the cross section contains a series of openings that let in daylight and enable the exhibits to be viewed from a distance.

Interwoven double spiral

APM diagram

The building has no pillars – the vertical and horizontal loads are borne solely by the glass façades. “Glass assumes the primary load-bearing function”, as engineer Philippe Willareth was quoted as saying in Swiss media.

Text: Linda Benkö
Translation: Rosemary Bridger-Lippe
Visualizations: BIG