Karamuk & Kuo . Ganz

CHÂTEAU VISITOR CENTER . Chillon


Karamuk * Kuo Architects . Ganz Landschaftsarchitektur . Exterior Renderings: © Loomn . Plans, Models and Interiors Images: © Karamuk * Kuo

The new building emerges from the series of ancient garden walls and adopts the existing outdoor stairs as part of its sequence of experiences and discoveries.









It is an infrastructure that supports the public functions of the castle but also one that gives spatial definition to the site. Together with the existing entrance bridge and bazar, it completes the trio of small service structures that mark the arrival to the château.
The building embraces the existing level change and physically reunites the street level with the existing sunken garden while allowing each its own character. The shop is introverted, a tall flexible space that allows only an occasional glimpse of the context outside, so that the physical presence of the castle is reinforced as we exit the space.
The cafeteria is a destination. With its prime location opening onto the terrace and its picture-perfect view to the château and the lake, the architecture becomes a frame for the context. The interior is dark and warm, receding to the background while providing an intimate atmosphere from which to appreciate the grandeur of the castle. Long and slender, the space ensures that every table can equally engage with the view beyond. The dark surfaces and the lower ceiling further refocus our attention to the vibrant panorama of the world outside.
The landscape along the promenade is reforested to enhance the singularity of the castle and to absorb the eclectic mix of elements added to the site over the years. The raw informality of the forest is a robust and complementary answer to the majesty of the castle.
For us, it was important not to mimic, nor to recreate an “ideal” historical period for a castle that has evolved and grown over many centuries, but rather to engage with it from a time-less and experiential point of view—to create a backdrop and infrastructure that enhances the character of the visit while maintaining its own ground.

Project Credits:
Karamuk * Kuo Architects with Ganz Landschaftsarchitektur
Project Team:
Jeannette Kuo, Ünal Karamuk, Daniel Ganz, Marco Steiner, Stefanie Girsberger, Brian Jordan, Melanie Rouge, Christoph Zingg
Exterior Renderings (Entrance and Lake views):
© Loomn
Images of Models and Interiors:
© Karamuk * Kuo


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