USM Haller doing double duty: art object and office furniture

Decades ago the Museum of Design in Zurich included the USM Haller in its collection as an object d’art, recognising USM’s contribution to Swiss design history.

When the Museum moved premises - to one of Zurich’s most iconic buildings, the remodeled former dairy factory Toni-Areal - they were blessed with far more space. For the first time in the museum’s history they had enough room to bring their entire archives selection of nearly half a million design objects under one roof. They were also able to create three new exhibition halls, a museum shop and additional administrative offices. All the additional space called for new furnishings to fulfil the office’s storage needs and meet various display requirements in individual collections’ offices. The perfect solution was staring them in the face: the USM Haller pieces that have been a part of the permanent collection for so long.

USM Haller modern classic in Museum of Design in Zurich
“We appreciate the long lifespan, the multifunctional, adaptive system and the innovative corporate culture.”
- Roman Aebersold, head of the museum’s Collaboration and Collections departments

Preserving the Toni-Areal complex’s original industrial character was essential to the architects and designers in charge of the remodelling; as was maintaining an open and creative atmosphere befitting an office in a creative hub that also includes Zurich’s University of the Arts, recording studios and a movie theatre. For this purpose, USM Haller shelves finished in pure white and steel blue alongside USM Haller tables in pearl grey were ideal. They maintain the industrial atmosphere, but remain enduringly modern and reconfigurable to allow for a truly flexible office layout and creative responses to the changing needs of a busy museum.

open plan industrial office with USM Haller filing cabinets and workstations

The storage solution for the new management offices, meanwhile, was even closer to home: a series of USM Haller shelves finished in mid grey that had already been in use in the original building for several years. Roman Aebersold, head of the museum’s Collaboration and Collections departments, was pleased to find that they look “almost like new and still work perfectly.”

grey USM Haller sideboards and shelving in an open plan modular office

As a result, the museum now celebrates the complementary twin virtues of USM Haller furniture: venerated museum piece and hyper-practical commercial storage solution.

modern library shelving with the USM Haller system

Use USM modular furnishings to revolutionise your own office or exhibition environment - get in touch with one of our expert furniture designers to work on completely unique designs for you.