Art Museum Basel

About the object

Culture and art play an important role in Basel. It is home to one of the world’s leading art museums, which attracts numerous art lovers and tourists with major works by Holbein, Hodler, Beuys, Twombly and Picasso and the Amerbach Cabinet, a humanist-influenced private collection. The extension, which opened in 2016 and was designed by Christ & Gantenbein, is connected to the main building underground. The grey cube for the art speaks a contemporary architectural language.


Christ & Gantenbein


Sport, Culture & Leisure



Building owner

Kunstmuseum Basel



Baier set new standards on the extension to the Basel Art Museum

The large spans of the over five-metre-high monumental halls in the basement and on the ground floor are particularly impressive. The self-supporting façade consists of narrow Danish bricks that envelop the entire structure as a free-standing wall. At a height of twelve metres, a three-metre-high light frieze with inlaid LEDs encircles the building – with reflections on the bright stone, text and form elements can be displayed. This concept was developed by the iart company in collaboration with the architects.

Folding sliding shutters from Baier – simply different

Folding sliding shutters were chosen to match the play of light and shadow and to shade the windows with a view of the city. Baier GmbH, a company based in Baden, was able to meet the high demands for individuality, design, technical competence and many years of experience. In order to achieve unique effects, the control system was specially programmed so that 0%, 25%, 50%, 75% and 100% opening can be approached very precisely. Details play a decisive role in this unique extension.

Enjoy top-class art in an architecturally captivating setting. Baier has contributed to this magnificent building “playing with light and shadow”.

The shutters, usually up to 4.4 m high, are made of steel and shiny galvanised sheet steel and pick up the colour value of the grey polygonal building. The modern building material steel convinces with its weather resistance and is equally resilient under pressure and tension. Special rails and carriages were used to transport the enormous weight. Since so-called “contact corrosion” can occur between galvanised steel and other materials, the connection of the shutters to the surrounding hardware and drive parts posed a great challenge and the Baier company was able to score points with a customised solution and precise execution. A channel heater ensures that the folding shutter does not freeze in winter temperatures. The band of the heater is integrated into the lower guide of the movable folding sliding shutters and thus ensures reliable operation all year round. Special controls meet the highest requirements and ensure that it is only in operation when it is really needed.

Baier for demands at a high level

The control system was specially designed for this project. Different opening values can be approached precisely, so special requirements are placed on the light management. No problem for the electronics specialists at Baier. With in-house electronics development, they can respond to such requests individually. The motors, equipped with a so-called rotary encoder or encoder, count every motor revolution. The control system can process these signals and thus always knows exactly where the system is. Via special inputs, the building control system can thus move to exact, predefined positions. In this case, it was decided to move in 25% opening steps. Coupled with the rest of the lighting management system, the sun protection system also ensures that the art always appears in the right light. But the electronics can do even more: if a desired position is not reached, an error signal is given as feedback. In this way, it is possible to react immediately and, if necessary, prevent damage to the precious art. Precisely fitting control electronics, adapted for special applications – one of Baier’s many strengths.

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