The Museum Liner Appenzell is an intriguing form of linear architecture with its triangular roof pitches, large windows, and staggered heights. Set in a panoramic Swiss village, it’s construction was completed in 1998. The monographic museum, designed by architects Michael Guyer and Annette Gigon, is dedicated to the work of Appenzell artist Carl August Liner and his son Carl Walter Liner. The individual exhibition spaces are designed to display both artists works together not individually, as well as periodic changing exhibitions of contemporary art.
The exhibition spaces of the Museum Liner Appenzell are universal spaces rather than specific. The rooms are tranquil spaces, designed to neither exaggerate nor compete with the works of art. The rooms are restrained from any great detail, with bright walls and a poured in place concrete floor. The main source of light for the exhibits is natural light that pours into the museum through the window set in the gable roof. The exhibition area of the museum is divided into ten relatively small rooms. The rooms range in size from thirty to fifty square meters, providing an intimate and focused setting for the individual paintings. I find it interesting how moving from south to north through the museum the rooms decrease in depth. In addition, the height of the walls between the rooms decrease in height from south to north, making the northern most room the most intimate space. The doorways leading from room to room are a combination of staggered and aligned. The staggering of the doorways was designed to slow down the visitors pace, as the circulation path of the museum is linear. There are windows placed at both ends of the museum as well as on the sides of the building. The windows are placed to give the visitors a view of the outdoor setting as well as orientation inside the building.
A small reading room is located at the north end of the museum, as well as a small room for slides and videos. The main entrance to the museum is located at the south end of the building, equipped with a sales and reception counter. Being the largest space in the museum this room is also used for gathering, talks, and lectures.
The natural lighting system of the exhibition spaces exists in a zigzag form as a result of the varying heights of the gable ceilings. The height variance in the gable relate to the rows of gable roofs in Appenzell villages. The roof surfaces are clad with stainless steel sheets, which diffuse the amount of light reflected. The façade surfaces are made of the same material, with metal sheets overlapping in a fish-scale-like manner. This relates to traditional silver-gray shingle roofs of Appenzell buildings. The façade of the building and the different pitches of the roof work together to mimic the alpine scenery.
The Museum Liner Appenzell was built using load bearing masonry, using both poured concrete and gas-pore concrete. The density of the building along with its skylights create balanced temperature and humidity levels inside the museum, minimizes the need of air-conditioning.
The architecture and interior design of the Museum Liner Appenzell demonstrates the use of natural resources, and relation to its setting. I find these elements important aspects of design. Although the interior of the museum is not extravagantly exciting setting in itself, its lack of detail and décor works well with its purpose. The Museum Liner Appenzell creates a place that allows the works of art to be the spectacle. The paintings that hang on the walls are the detail. I also find the staggering of the doors a key aspect of the design. Slowing down the circulation path of the visitors allows for more inspecting and appreciation for the pieces of art. Michael Guyer and Annette Gigon showed a lot of appreciation for art in their design of the Museum Liner Appenzell.