fribourg natural history museum
Critic - Monica Juvera, Boris Bezan | Fall 2018
Team - Danielle Ndubisi
The new extension for the Natural History Museum of Fribourg is
situated in the Perolles district where the location allows it to be
an extension of the surrounding urban context.
As a continuation
of the existing language set by the adjacent buildings, the project
suggests a division of space through fragmentation of the building
on the site. The museum then starts to act as a central hub
for the community as it pulls in the existing and projected axes
through the site. It directly engages with the proposed pedestrian
pathway and new development route as well as maintain visual
sight lines through the site.
Formally, the museum further brings in these existing axes
through the plinth that starts as the base of the existing warehouse
and extends into the rest of the site. From this plinth grows
the two pavilions that manifest the original division of space. The
extension also brings out the gridded layout of the warehouse
through which the boundaries of the low lying pavilions are set.
Essentially, the internal structure of the warehouse starts to inform
the primary mass of the pavilions with the ribboning plinth as
the center of this dialogue.
A strong, striking path is made from the street up to the pedestrianpathway splits the warehouse from the pavilions creating
a visual divide between the old and the new. In contrast, a lessdirect path weaves through and around the site that generates a
garden-like plaza that ties the two forms together. This weaving
is transferred internally, in which the layout of the exhibit spacescreate a snaking yet seamless transition from the new form to the
warehouse and back to the new.
The exhibition spaces strengthen the concept of the originalgrid extending into the new form through the highly expressed
structure created in the buildings and the showcase of the original
structure in the warehouse. As a natural history museum, treesin the exhibition spaces, the garden-like plaza, and the brick’s
strong rough expression and reference to the Swiss mountainsstart to bring the nature in and around the museum. The plinth
finally acts as a ribboning element around the site which imitatesthe weaving circulation as well as acting as the first to allude to
Plans | Scale 1:250