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Gingko trees
Gingko trees

Gingko trees

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Museum für Gestaltung Zürich
Ausstellungsstrasse 60
8031 Zurich
Museum map
Museum für Gestaltung Zürich
Toni-Areal, Pfingstweidstrasse 94
8031 Zurich
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SLMWeg_en_A10.mp3

You have now got to the National Museum and are standing under the imposing extension built in 2016, which forms a kind of bridge here. If you look back towards the Platzspitz, you’ll see two huge trees right here, with some rather smaller magnolias growing between them. They are gingko trees, and are over 100 years old. This is a species that seafarers brought back to Europe from Japan in the 18th century. These two examples were planted at the end of the 19th century, when the National Museum was under construction. They have survived all kinds of trials since then. So it is no surprise that these trees were taken into account when the extension was being planned. The foundations had to be built at least one metre from the roots. That’s why the building bends at this spot – almost as if it were respectfully bending its knee to two marvellous gingko trees. Changes to the amount of sunlight they receive, a drop in the water table and drastic pruning – these two have defied them all.

Gingko trees
Image credits

Fotografie, Ginkobäume
Abbildung: Schweizerisches Nationalmuseum