Haus Konstruktiv: The Concrete Jewel of Zurich’s Art Scene

You might have noticed that massive concrete building sitting on the banks of the Sihl River as you exit the Selnau train station and cross the river. It is a former substation for the distribution of power to Zurich and now houses the Haus Konstruktiv Museum.

It is a unique museum dedicated to the Constructivist, Concrete, and Conceptual Art movements and offers a great day out in Zurich.

The Entrance to the Haus Konstruktiv, Zurich
The Entrance to the Haus Konstruktiv, Zurich

General Information

The following information should get you started on your next visit to the Haus Konstruktiv:

AddressSelnaustrasse 25, 8001 Zürich (Google Maps)
Opening TimesTuesday & Thursday – Sunday: 11 am – 5 pm
Wednesday: 11 am – 8 pm
Monday: closed
Ticket PricesAdults: CHF 18
Students, apprentices, senior citizens, IV: CHF 12
Children and Teens (under 18 years of age): Free
DiscountsSchweizer Museumspass, Zürich Card, Swiss Travel Pass: Free
Raiffeisen MemberPlus, TiM-Guides: Free
Donors, members: Free
Public TransportTrain: S-Bahn to Selnau
Tram stops: Stauffacher, Sihlstrasse
Walk: 10 minutes from Zurich HB
AccessibilityWheelchair access (lift inside)
Free wheelchair available on site
Free entry to accompanying persons
Guide dogs welcome
Websitehauskonstruktiv.ch
Haus Konstruktiv General Information

History and Background

Founded in 1986 by a group of private individuals, the Haus Konstruktiv was created as a space for celebrating and preserving what the Zurich Concretists started back in the earlier decades of the 20th century. It was originally in the Seefeld area of Zurich, but moved to the more fitting substation building in 2001, a few years after its closing.

The Permanent Collection

Having grown significantly since its opening, the Haus Konstruktiv’s permanent collection now includes over 1,000 works. It enables them to showcase key artists from the genre including pieces from the likes of Max Bill, Camille Graeser, Verena Loewensberg, Richard Paul Lohse, Josef Albers, Piet Mondrian, and Kazimir Malevich.

Fritz Glarner’s "Rockefeller Dining Room
Fritz Glarner’s Rockefeller Dining Room, Haus Konstruktiv permanent collection

One of the bigger pieces in the permanent collection is Fritz Glarner’s Rockefeller Dining Room. It dates from 1963/64 and us a great example of relational painting.

Art from Claudia Comte in the Haus Konstruktiv cafe
Art from Claudia Comte in the Haus Konstruktiv cafe

There is also some permanent art from artist Claudia Comte in the cafe at the entrance to the museum which makes for a fun experience when you enter the museum.

The museum also has an extensive archive of historical documents, publications, and photographs, providing valuable insight into the evolution of these art movements and their lasting impact on the global art scene.

Temporary Exhibitions

Haus Konstruktiv hosts between six to nine temporary exhibitions each year and I was lucky enough to see one during my recent visit to the museum.

These temporary exhibitions create a great opportunity to see the works of renowned and up-and-coming artists in a huge 1200m2 space that is spread over 5 floors above the entrance and cafe of the museum.

During my visit in March 2023, they were displaying a huge variety of work from Leon Polk Smith as well as a smaller collection from Athene Galiciadis.

They also have a few pieces of art for sale on the upper floor in a small gallery by the stairs called “Editions”.

Editions gallery - art for sale in the Haus Konstruktiv
Editions gallery – art for sale in the Haus Konstruktiv

Educational Programs

In keeping with its mission to inspire and educate, Haus Konstruktiv offers a wide range of educational programs and activities for all ages. Their programs cater to school groups, families, as well as individuals. This includes

  • guided tours
  • workshops
  • lectures led by knowledgeable museum staff and guest experts.

Events and Collaborations

Haus Konstruktiv also acts as a cultural hub, regularly hosting regular events and also collaborating with other institutions, both within Switzerland and internationally. The result is regular artist talks and panel discussions as well as film screenings and performance art. The best way to see what is coming up is to check the museum calendar.

Written by Ashley Faulkes
As a twenty-year resident of Switzerland, I am passionate about exploring every nook and cranny of this beautiful country, I spend my days deep in the great Swiss outdoors, and love to share these experiences and insights with fellow travel enthusiasts.

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