In 1889, the plans for setting up a panorama of the Battle of Sempach at the Löwenplatz in Lucerne were definitely abandoned. Just four years later however, entrepreneur and panorama promoter Benjamin Henneberg moved the Bourbaki Panorama, on view in Geneva since 1881, to Lucerne. The rotunda to house the painting was constructed and inaugurated first, before the single-storied annexes that surrounded it.
Doubtless feeling the competitive pressure of that revolutionary new medium – film – David Alfred Henneberg sold the property to Lucerne promoters Koch & Söhne in 1925. They installed a modern garage on the rotunda’s ground floor, with a turning platform for the transport of automobiles that functions up to the present day. The garage was enlarged in 1949.
In 1985, several cultural institutions moved into the garage premises. The new building, designed by Zurich architects Kreis Schaad Schaad, was inaugurated in January 2000 and now houses the municipal library, a cinema, a gallery, a bar and several shops.
The building figures in the Lucerne building inventary (in German). It is considered a historic building worth protecting and thus stands under monumental protection.
The Bourbaki Panorama Owners’ Association (STWEG) represents the interests of the property owners of the Bourbaki Panorama Luzern (namely, the City of Lucerne and the Bourbaki Panorama Foundation). In this capacity, it makes decisions regarding investments and maintenance; it is also responsible for safety in the building.