Basel's tunnel vision: Basel Kunstmuseum receives funding from Laurez Foundation for new extension

Local architects are responsible for plans to construct a tunnel that passes from the original site to the newly built annex


The Laurenz Foundation, founded in 1999 by the Basel-based philanthropist Maja Oeri, has donated 50 million Swiss francs ($47m) towards the expansion of the Kunstmuseum in Basel. “The Basel government will ask for [the remaining] 50 million Swiss francs from the Basel-Stadt council [parliament],” a Kunstmuseum spokesman said. Local architects Christ & Gantenbein won the competition late last year to design the new annex at the institution. Their design includes a tunnel linking the new extension, which is scheduled to open in 2015, to the Kunstmuseum’s original 1936 building. Its collection of 300,000 works date from the early 15th century to today. Oeri, whose family founded the Swiss pharmaceutical conglomerate Roche, is president of the Emanuel Hoffmann Foundation, long a supporter of the museum. The foundation’s collection of Modern art is housed at the Schaulager in Basel, which opened in 2003.

• Originally appeared in The Art Newspaper with the headline 'Basel museum’s tunnel vision'