The City of Zurich has informed the Foundation for Constructivist, Concrete and Conceptual Art that Museum Haus Konstruktiv will have to leave its rooms in the ewz-Unterwerk Selnau building and seek a new location.
Museum Haus Konstruktiv has been situated in the Unterwerk Selnau building since 2001; the existing lease ends on July 1st, 2025. The service division ewz at the City of Zurich’s Department of Industrial Operations has now regrettably announced that it needs to use the property itself, for the “Cool City” energy project. The City of Zurich’s decision presents the museum with existential challenges. Finding appropriate premises at a suitable central location within a short period of time is likely to be very difficult. Relocation and making the necessary adjustments to a building for museum operations also require considerable financial resources, which the foundation does not currently have.
When moving into the Unterwerk Selnau building in 2001, the foundation had to invest over 7 million francs. The ewz-Unterwerk Selnau building is an ideal location for Museum Haus Konstruktiv. The building is an impressive example of the New Objectivity style in Zurich, a first-class monument to 20th-century industrial architecture – and thus the perfect setting for the period of art pertaining to the Zurich Concretists. Relocation will mean that the investments made back then are lost.
“The Foundation Board understands that the city must secure its future energy supply. Nevertheless, this decision is very painful for the museum. We are doing everything we can to keep Haus Konstruktiv as an independent institution,” says the foundation’s president Andreas Durisch. The Foundation Board gratefully acknowledges that the city council has committed to providing assistance, as the museum was assured at an information session hosted by Mayor Corine Mauch and City Councilor Michael Baumer (Head of Industrial Operations). The upcoming move to a new location is a direct consequence of the city’s energy strategy with the goal of net-zero emissions.
For 36 years, the museum has been preserving the legacy of the Zurich Concretists and documenting its impact, which endures to this day. In order to continue this success story, decisive support from the city and the public sector is needed for maintaining and funding Museum Haus Konstruktiv.
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