Giacometti Frescos (“Blüemlihalle”)

Thanks to Augusto Giacometti, what is probably the most beautiful police station entrance hall worldwide is located in the heart of Zurich.

  • Important art-in-architecture work
    Executed between 1922 and1926
    In the entrance of the city police headquarters
  • Open daily

The Work

Gustav Gull, until 1900 Zurich’s municipal architect and mastermind behind the National Museum, was entrusted with the task of converting a former orphanage into a municipal building to house the city police headquarters. In order to save space, the vaulted ceiling of what had been the cellar was transformed into the entrance area. 

In 1922, the City of Zurich launched a competition to paint the entrance hall, with the aim of brightening up the gloomy space and creating work opportunities for local artists. Augusto Giacometti (1877–1947) won the competition with ease. His design in warm red and ochre tones was executed between 1922 and 1926 using the al fresco and al secco techniques. The ceiling and vault paintings comprise ornamental floral designs and geometric patterns. The walls, meanwhile, depict people at work: stone carvers and carpenters represent the handicraft trade, while astronomers and magicians denote science.

Nowadays, the art-in-architecture work, which was extensively restored in 2019, is considered to be of national importance.

Special Remarks

The locals affectionately refer to the Giacometti Hall as the “Blüemlihalle” (hall of little flowers) due to its design featuring countless ornamental flowers. Against deposit of an ID card, members of the public can visit and admire the entrance area daily from 9–11am and 2–4pm.

Location

The “Blüemlihalle” in the Amtshaus I is probably the world’s most beautiful police station entrance hall by far. 

The Creator

Augusto Giacometti (1877–1947) created the choir windows in the Grossmünster in 1933, as well as a stained-glass window in the Fraumünster in 1945. He came from the famous Giacometti dynasty of painters, which also included Giovanni Giacometti and sculptor Alberto Giacometti. 

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Opening Hours

Daily from 9.00am – 11.00am and 2.00pm – 4.00pm upon presentation of ID