Between tradition and innovative vision
The Museum Atelier Audemars Piguet, which unites the Maison des Fondateurs with an ultra-contemporary glass spiral, is ready to welcome its first visitors as of next summer. Located in Le Brassus (Vallée de Joux), the complex is a link between tradition and innovative vision and becomes a unique place of discovery, learning and conviviality. This architectural feat rewards 6 years of development and high-flying achievements carried out hand in hand by the famous watchmaking brand Audemars Piguet, the architectural offices BIG (Bjarke Ingels Group/DK) and CCHE (CH), as well as ATB (D) for the museography.
Consortium BIG (Bjarke Ingels Group) / CCHE Lausanne SA
Founders' House : CCHE La Vallée SA
Manufacture d'Horlogerie Audemars Piguet SA, Le Brassus
Construction of a museum and clock workshops Interior refurbishment of the historic building
Underground car park with 24 spaces
CCHE Lausanne SA
A pavilion supported by curved glazing
Designed by BIG (Bjarke Ingels Group) and realised by CCHE, the spiral-shaped pavilion has been designed to blend in perfectly with the surrounding landscape. Rising gently on curved glass walls, it offers a window onto the Vallée de Joux and the expertise of Audemars Piguet. The floors follow different inclinations to adapt to the natural slope of the terrain and form the basis of the museum's interior design, stretched into a linear and continuous spatial experience.
Entirely supported by curved glass walls, it represents a feat of design and architectural achievement, a world first at this altitude. The curved glazing fully supports the steel roof, while a subtle brass lattice surrounds the outer surface to regulate light and temperature. The vegetated roof helps to neutralise temperature variations, while absorbing water. Two traditional workshops, Grandes Complications and Métiers d'Art, which require a particularly demanding work environment, also take place in the centre of the spiral.
Although the spiral is a real technical challenge, the materials are simple : vegetation on the roof, glass for the façades, brass for the coatings and sun protection.
Designed by the Danish architectural firm BIG (Bjarke Ingels Group), the winning building is a spiral rising from the ground, resting entirely on curved glass walls and combining with Audemars Piguet's oldest building : the original home of the Audemars family. The spiral becomes the main exhibition space and the existing administrative building retains its current function.
CCHE, appointed as local architect and general planner of the project, intervenes in a transversal way by ensuring not only the monitoring of the project but also the flow of information between the stakeholders, the collaboration with the authorities, the quality control and the execution of the works.
This project is extremely complex from a technical point of view and requires CCHE's know-how and a high degree of precision in execution.
By CCHE La Vallée SA
The Founder's House, entirely renovated by CCHE on the basis of archive documents, welcomes visitors to a world of woodwork and ancient stones. Connected to the glass spiral, the historic building houses the registers and archives of the Manufacture as well as the Heritage Department, the Audemars Piguet Foundation and the Restoration Workshop.
The architectural concept proposed by CCHE has been developed hand in hand with Audermars Piguet's heritage historians and local craftsmen to recreate the original atmosphere of the historic building dating from 1868.
Thanks to sensitive design and construction work, the watchmakers' workshop was set up in the attic and this family home was transformed into a museum and a top-of-the-range reception facility. After an in-depth search for archive materials and a visit to some of the farmhouses in La Vallée, a large part of the wall coverings present real historical wooden works from the houses in the neighbouring village.
The watchmaker's workbenches and other furniture have been entirely recreated by local craftsmen with the desire to preserve traditional know-how. The landscape gardeners and locksmiths have also reconstructed the exterior of the original house using archive material.
Such an ambitious project could not be completed without the development of exceptional signage that respects the site.
Through the dimensioning, the subtle positioning and the quantity of the interventions determined as well as the finesse of the treatment of the proposed materials, it was a question for us of summing up the signage to its strict necessity for a perfect integration in relation to the different existing environments and architectures.
Elegant, the signage does not impose itself on the visitor's eye, but reveals itself to him effectively when the information is sought.
Coherent and uniform, our response is in dialogue with both the context of the Founders' House and that of the Spiral.
Brass letters with finely brushed faces and edge painting: the right contrast between legibility and integration into the environment.
Dimensioning and materiality of the texts according to needs and legibility distances
Drawing of a range of signs adapted to the contemporary and historical context
Brass letters with negative seals: highlighting through light and shadow