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Grimmwelt – A Place of Contrasts

Grimmwelt – A Place of Contrasts

Kassel, Germany
Project Year
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Hunter Douglas Architectural

© Jan Bitter

Grimmwelt – A Place of Contrasts

kadawittfeldarchitektur as Architects

The new museum at the Weinberg in Kassel has been designed to present the Brothers Grimm‘s works. It translates the historical and topographical features of the surrounding park into a continuous open space and invites visitors to explore the exhibitions at their own pace.

The Brothers Grimm Museum, GRIMMWELT Kassel, is located in a picturesque park on the slope of an area called Weinberg close to Kassel city centre where it blends into the gently undulating landscape. Old stone steps, wall fragments, pergolas, planted terraces and lush vegetation contribute towards the special atmosphere of the park. The new museum continues the topography of the surroundings in an accessible roof landscape and thus provides the park with an open stairway that leads up to a terrace with a view across Kassel.

This design leads to a split-level arrangement in the interior. The tiered space is arranged around a central introductory hall presenting the various key subjects of the exhibition in a fascinating dialogue. Visitors experience a place with diverse atmosphere and one that focusses on German linguistics as well as the collection of the Grimms’ Fairy Tales. The foyer with a reception desk, a shop and waiting area is a long space stretching the full depth of the building. It ends in a light café with a panorama of Kassel’s Karlsaue and the southern part of the city.

The reinforced concrete structure has an outer leaf of light coloured natural stone, GauingerTravertin, roughly split with courses of varied height. The choice of material is reminiscent of the former so-called HenschelHaus, which was destroyed by an air raid in 1945 and was situated where the new museum now stands. Furthermore, the choice of material reflects properties of the local limestone found under the existing hill, once a vineyard.

Grimm-Welt, Museum

Hunter Douglas Architectural as Manufacturers

More information about Linear Solid Wood are on the Hunter Douglas website. (see link below)


LICHTVISION as Lighting design

The Grimmwelt is situated in a scenic park hillside a vineyard close to the centre of Kassel. The new exhibition building fits in seamlessly with the smooth modeled landscape. Acting as a walkable sculpture the building retains and strengthens the specific atmosphere of the park which is part of the World Heritage Site (UNESCO). The aim is to involve the visitors actively in the exhibition and to impart the life and work of the Grimm Brother and as well to experience a place which creates varying moods and attends to the complexity of German language and the famous collections of the Grimm’s fables. The lighting design emphasizes gently the shape of the building, gives the environment a fabulous atmosphere, links the interior and outer structure of the architecture and deals gingerly with the precious substance of our heritage.

The visitor enters the Grimmwelt on the foyer. The lighting consists of two areas: the cash point and the passage zone. A biaxial channel is mounted which can include three different LED modules. Direct modules (High Contrast) diffuse modules (Low Contrast) and also wallwasher react to the different requirements of this room and both emphasize and compart the cash area. The light is directed on the desk to provide the required 300lx. The wood paneling of the ceiling and walls are brightened by diffuse lighting to create a consistent spatial impact. The light axes of the foyer beacon the visitor into the café/the multi-purpose room. In parallel lines run channels which include two different LED modules.

After leaving the foyer the visitor steps on the first level of the three-part exhibition. Entering the world of the Grimm Brothers the visitors perceive a sphere which is more unobtrusive brightened than the foyer. Therefor the lighting level is downscaled to 1/3 to create a mystic atmosphere.

On the second level the visitors look is focused on the 9m wall, a wall with special and artistic enactment. The light level increase to the double. Spotlights with different light distribution guarantee an all-over lighting of the wall area.

Thesecond exhibition area (Grimm 1 and Grimm 2) is structured by small translucent walls which are built in an interval of 1,5m. Vents of different sizes are cut into the walls so that passages, rooms and niches are formed.

The lighting follows the principle of ranking. Track lights are placed between the walls. The pendelum height refers to the upper end of the wall. Asymmetrical linear LED modules are arranged in the same way as the corresponding room geometry. In addition, two vertical diffuse LED lines, which are located opposite each other, indicate the path zone following the wall breaks in the Grimm 1. The showcases and other fixtures, which describe the fairy tale theme, are an additional part of the exhibition. In areas with conservational requirements, the ambient light is been omitted. The lighting of the showcases stages the exhibits. The balance of these elements gives these areas a special atmosphere in demanding lighting conditions.

The special exhibition occupies a separate position. Although the other exhibition rooms follow a fixed, non-changing concept, this area is temporarily used. For this reason, the lighting elements are selected in such a way that they meet the different requirements. Nevertheless, the aim is not to bring a self-sufficient system into this exhibition, but to adapt the existing elements flexibly to other necessities.

Product Spec Sheet

ElementBrandProduct name
ManufacturersHunter Douglas Architectural
Lighting designLICHTVISION
Product Spec Sheet
Lighting design
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