From yogurt to pure creativity, from the cheese production to the “Exhibition Depot”, from a cheese factory to the house of the Museum für Gestaltung. The Toni-Areal building complex in Zurich has been called a “cultural hybrid” and an “art factory”: “a place of power” enriched by the USM Modular System in the offices, as furniture, and in the museum’s archives as items in its collection.
The Toni-Areal complex takes its name after its original function as the European biggest milk processing factory.
The Zurich architectural firm EM2N has been rebuilding and expanding the huge building complex over a period of just under ten years for its new purposes. Today, within its 10.000 mq, it is able to host 5.000 people, the Zurich University of the Arts and two departments of the University of Applied Sciences, a hundred apartments, and a school with an auditorium, a concert hall, rehearsal stages, ateliers, laboratories, film studios, a cinema and a bar.
In September 2014 also the renowned Museum of Design and its “Exhibition Depot” relocated here. The museum, whose original 1930s building is currently closed for remodeling and renovations, experienced a true quantum leap of options following the move: for the first time in the institution’s nearly 140-year history, the extensive archives collection, formerly scattered throughout the city, has been brought together in one place and made accessible to visitors. Overall, nearly half a million design objects, including chairs, lamps and cabinets, as well as ceramics and posters, can now be viewed in a free-standing, accessible high-bay warehouse.
The offices for the collections are furnished with recently purchased pure white and steel blue USM Haller shelves and pearl gray USM Haller tables, while the management office is fitted with mid gray USM Haller shelves that had been in use in the original building for several years.
According to Roman Aebersold, head of the museum’s Collaboration and Collections operations, people value USM’s long service life, systems that adapt to many different needs and an innovative corporate culture.
Several USM Haller shelves have also found a place in the museum’s archives as items in its collection and thus as an important contribution to the history of Swiss design. Visitors to the new Museum of Design Exhibition Depot are introduced to USM in two ways: as an exhibit item and as an item in daily use. A great recognition for the USM Haller system, celebrating this year its 50th anniversary.
Text by Gabriele Masi.