New look for MEG in Geneva

Thursday 11 Sep 2014

Reinvigorated Musee d’ethnographie de Geneve due to open next month

Preparations are being made to re-open the Musee d’ethnographie de Geneve (MEG) following a drastic reinvention scheme to the design of Zurich architects Graber Pulver Architekten. Due to open on 31 October 2014, the rejuvenated MEG will present more than 1,000 objects in its permanent exhibition alongside a number of temporary exhibitions highlighting works from its ethnographic collections.

Encased in the shimmering roof structure will be The Helene Lancoux media library. This modern exhibition includes more than 40,000 words dedicated to human culture. Graber Pulver Architekten's design features a glistening metal roof structure with diamond-shaped windows which cast pockets of light onto the exhibition spaces within.

The majority of the MEG’s interior spaces are below ground therefore it was important for the architects to create a building that was ‘singular and unobtrusive’. The new facility has four times the capacity of the original museum structure with a core exhibition volume on level -2, unhindered by columns. On level -1 visitors will find a reception spaces and cultural meditation areas, alongside a 250-seat auditorium and two smaller rooms each capable of seating 50 people.

There is also an art workshop for children and school groups, a grand reading room and a music listening room, all open to the general public, students and researchers. Externally there is a landscaped garden designed by Guido Hager and Pascal Posset from Hager which lies above the below-ground facilities. 

A statement from the museum reads: “A major cultural challenge for Geneva, the MEG 2014 project grew out of a shared determination to design an ambitious, contemporary museum infrastructure that will give the ethnographic collections from the five continents a showcase worthy of their value and make them accessible to the widest possible audience.”

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