06/07/2016 The new museum building at Friedrichsplatz in Mannheim links up with the historic Art Nouveau building and has been designed as “city in the city”. Within a simple overall structure, individual units have been arranged in an inspiring composition to provide exhibition space and rooms for supporting functions. They enclose a central atrium and are linked via galleries, terraces and bridges. In analogy to the elements that make up urban environments – buildings, blocks, streets and squares – the architects have created varied circular routes through enclosed and open spaces with changing vistas and outlooks. As in the layout of the city of Mannheim with its “street squares”, the clear overruling structure makes orientation easy; at the same time, each situation conveys new impressions – just as the city’s diversity of the architecture, changes in the building lines, recesses and empty plots ensure that no space is identical to another.
As was planned at the time of the foundation of the Kunsthalle hundred years ago, it is given a prestigious elevation towards the park at Friedrichsplatz to mark its contribution to the urban context. From there, visitors enter the central daylight atrium via the new main entrance. The atrium is the point of orientation and also the starting point for the circular tours through special exhibitions and constantly changing displays of collection exhibits on three levels, two of which are connected with the existing building. The exhibition concept includes large rooms with back-lit ceilings that can be used in a variety of ways as well as individual cubes with lateral lighting, and a large open terrace that was specially designed for the museum’s important sculpture collection. The third floor includes a roof garden in the round tour from where visitors can enjoy a view of Friedrichsplatz.
The facades are cloaked with a transparent metal mesh with bronze-colored coating that defines the external shape of the building and creates a respectful dialogue with the sandstone color of the neighboring buildings. Varying degrees of transparency are achieved with different mesh widths. In this way, the integrity of the overall building shape is preserved while the individual volumes can be experienced in their graded differences from close up or further away, by day or by night. Just as the urban structure of a city provides the ordering context in which each individual building can express itself, the “city of art” concept forms an architectural framework which, at the same time, provides maximum flexibility for the arrangement the museum’s exhibitions.
6-Dec-2012 Competition for Kunsthalle Mannheim
gmp wins first prize after negotiated procedure
The architects von Gerkan, Marg and Partners (gmp) have been awarded the contract to design the new Kunsthalle Mannheim. This was the decision made by the Kunsthalle‘s jury in Mannheim on Monday 3 December 2012. After three architect’s practices were awarded first place in a closed, anonymous competition back in July 2012, these practices were asked to revise their designs. The practices were gmp, Staab Architects and Peter Pütz Architects. Irrespective of the negotiation procedure, an exhibition started in October at which the public were able to familiarize themselves with the three winning entries.
The Kunsthalle design created by gmp portrays a symbolic identity, both on the outside and on the inside: the idea was to create a place that is easily remembered, and which appeals with its functional and urban quality. Analogous to the chess board type layout of Mannheim’s inner city, the design is a composition of several cubes, the regularity of which is however broken by an offset arrangement in terms of height and width, and also by the arrangement of squares within the development. Visitors experience different sized rooms full of excitement and with a range of different air spaces. This creates a range of vistas inside and outside of the building. With the concept of a louvred facade, the design clearly distinguishes itself from neighboring buildings in terms of its color scheme and materials. The intention was to choose a warm metal color which on the one hand does not replicate the red of the regional sandstone but, on the other hand, does not appear cold in spite of its timeless feel. The plain architecture, with its translucent facade envelope, radiates a strong presence.
The design, which was revised as part of the negotiation process, features a significantly reduced volume on the basement floor. To achieve this, the designers moved the delivery zone to the ground floor, which made it possible to omit the ramp and other extensive circulation areas. Furthermore, the detailed design of the technical building services revealed that less space was required, resulting in the second sub-floor no longer being necessary. Some of the services have been integrated in and on the roof areas, thus reducing the length of pipelines and ducting. In addition, the architects were able to incorporate improvements in many other areas of the new Kunsthalle Mannheim. In summary, all these measures mean that it will be possible to keep within the budget for the building.
International competition: 2012 - 1st prize Design: Meinhard von Gerkan and Nikolaus Goetze with Volkmar Sievers Project Manager: Di Miao Design Team: Mira Schmidt, Liselotte Knall, Kai Siebke, Frederik Heisel