Who we are
The Löwenbräukunst-Areal is a unique art centre in the Zurich West district. Where beer was once brewed, there are now museums, galleries, art spaces, art and cultural foundations, art escape room, and a bistro. The range of contemporary art on offer includes exhibitions and collection-specific presentations, events and symposia, as well as activities on current themes in art education, promotion and research.
Löwenbräukunst Community Engagement creates lasting connections that go beyond individual art visits. We bring art, ideas and dialogue into classrooms, health centres and community venues across the city. As a public arts centre, we are committed to ensuring that everyone can access and benefit from the arts. Contemporary art should open our eyes and minds to new thoughts. At Löwenbräukunst, everyone should feel welcome, regardless of age or background.
Facts and history
The Löwenbräu opened in 1996, as it were, as a child of the spirit of optimism that had been heralded by the opera house riots in conservative Zurich. In the 1980s, the youth riots had set the stage for a Swiss art scene that was generally more open to debate, more tolerant and more open. A vibrant, provocative and surprising art scene, which also moved the official city of Zurich to stop investing only in established culture.
At that time, the Kunsthalle, the Migros Museum für Gegenwartskunst, Hauser & Wirth and a handful of other galleries moved into the former buildings of the beer brewery on Limmatstrasse. The building, or rather the industrial wasteland, was located in the middle of the industrial quarter of the city of Zurich. A quarter that was still on the periphery in terms of location, but had developed socially into the center of a young subculture. Numerous institutions, galleries, offspaces and illegal bars had settled around Hardturmstrasse and Limmatstrasse since the 1990s. The parties at Löwenbräu were also legendary. Joint openings of the institutions became crowd pullers, attracting a national but also international audience. This went hand in hand with a general ongoing development: contemporary art and its representatives became more and more the content of the culture industry.
To this day, the Löwenbräukunst is unique with its mix. No other roof unites in such a small space such different actors and institutions of contemporary art. The fact that, in addition to non-commercial interests, commercial interests are also being pursued is a criticism that Löwenbräu has been confronted with time and again since its founding and to this day. A criticism that has also provided and continues to provide internal moments for reflection and discussion. However, this local bundling of different players is also precisely what makes this art center unique to this day. Last but not least, it is this mix that contributes in particular to the fact that Löwenbräukunst offers the public not just one, but a multi-perspective view of important contemporary art.
Limmatstrasse 268 + 270
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Architecture & Signage
The redevelopment of the two building complexes of the Löwenbräukunst area have been completed after 10 months of work. User-friendliness, especially for people with disabilities and families with baby carriages, is guaranteed. The architectural interventions were implemented by the architectural office Annette Gigon / Mike Guyer, which was already responsible for the New West Building and the conversion of the Löwenbräu site seven years ago.
The newly created access to all floors and entrances connects the two building complexes into one building. Signage and corporate identity were designed by Teo Schifferli.