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Project: Kunsthalle Mannheim
Collaborators: Peter Thomas Hornung & Elsa Katharina Jacobi & wps Architekten
Location: Mannheim, Germany
Year: 2011
Type: Museum
Size: 10.000 qm


The basic idea of our proposal is structured in three essential characteristics:
1. The embedding of the design in the respective urban context, to take the surrounding Art Nouveau characteristics of the „Friedrichsplatz“ into consideration and involve a new comprehension in form and materiality. The height and width relates to its surrounding buildings and completes the symmetrical composition of the “Friedrichsplatz”.
2. The connection to the historic „Billing-Bau“ to preserve its presence and provide it with an adequate framework.
3. The public and visitors of the museum alike should be guided through the museum as a seemingly entity. One of the main aspects of this design is the passage through the museum, which is articulated by a central double helix staircase. This staircase guides the public (exterior space) and the visitor (interior space) in a self-twisted spiral through the museum. This allows both parts exciting views into the museum and out of the building onto the famous Art Nouveau „Friedrichsplatz“ of Mannheim or the affiliated „Billing-Bau“.

All three characteristics relate and react to each other. The structure of the central staircase unifies interior and exterior spaces and provides yet unknown perspectives of the „Billing-Bau“ and „Friedrichslatz“.

Based on these thoughts our design answers essential questions for building a museum of the 21st century:
Future typology – which demands do we have for exhibiting spaces and who do we attract by that? How can a space combine our future and past? Which strategy do we need to follow to make art accessible and exciting?
We understand the museum of the 21st century as a place of replication. We want to enhance the dialogue between visitor and artwork, and thus make it more accessible. Exhibiting space needs to be able to react to future art display and contain the capacity to bring it into a new context.

002 Kunsthalle Mannheimcollaboration - wps architekten