Architecture / New Building / Winning Design

The winning design // The draft of gmp met the requirements specified in the competition for a new museum building in the centre of Mannheim. While characterised by a distinctive design, the architecture harmonises with the buildings surrounding the Friedrichsplatz. The connection to the listed Jugendstil building of the Kunsthalle guarantees an unmistakable architectural ensemble in an exposed urban location. In addition to its functionality as a museum, energetic and economic target values are a top priority. The building is at the service of art and dispenses with attracting attention by means of a spectacular gesture.
In their evaluation of gmp’s draft, the jury aptly used the image of a “museum city”. The building’s interior is composed of nine cubes that differ in regard to size, proportion and lighting. The aim in working out the draft was to translate the different usage and functional requirements into a flexible spatial concept. Refraining from a static succession of spaces offers individual exhibition possibilities and ensures that the collection stocks can be presented in the most various ways. Visitors enter the museum through a spacious entrance courtyard accessible from Friedrichsplatz. The central atrium, covered by a large glass roof, spans the entire height of the building. Lines of sight are open to all sides, with vistas to the urban space and the stairway hall of the Jugendstil building. The exhibition cubes that seem to hover are grouped towards the inner courtyard and can be reached via bridges and footbridges, terraces and squares. To the outside, the shaping elements are covered by a transparent facade skin surrounding the entire building. The colour of the copper pipe structures made of aluminium corresponds with the sandstone of the adjacent buildings. In order to allow views into and out of the museum, the spacing between the pipes is variable. The new building with close to 13,800 m² floor area will exceed the existing building complex (Mitzlaff Building, Athene Wing and Deep Bunker) by around 5,300 m². The gain in floor area mainly results from the enlargement of the exhibition spaces and the increase in public spaces (entrance zone, cafeteria, museum shop, event wing, art mediation and transport routes, as well as internal technical, restoration and delivery areas).

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