Neue Galerie Kassel Read more

© Werner Huthmacher
© Werner Huthmacher

In the 1970s, the Neue Galerie in Kassel, which had been badly damaged during the war, was fitted with new fixtures and completely altered access. In the course of the renovation of the building, the original spatial conception of the building was to be restored. However, the new exhibition concept also provided for the linking of the exhibition areas over three floors, which had to be accompanied by a considerable adaptation of the building structure. These two goals, which at first glance seem opposed, led us to a design strategy that drew a clear distinction between the original structure and the lost parts of the building. The historical fabric, which was characterized by longer sequences of rooms, was strengthened, while in the destroyed sections, especially in the area of the staircase hall, the changed parameters of use were conceptually and spatially reinterpreted. However, the point was not to strikingly demonstrate the difference between these parts, but rather to create a unified spatial experience by giving all interior spaces the same surface.
As before, access to the new gallery is from Schönen Aussicht in the northeast. The new, multi-story entrance hall links all three levels via two diagonally interlaced air spaces. The artist rooms of Joseph Beuys and Ulrike Grossarth continue to form the center of the building, surrounded by the side-lit cabinets and the Wandelhalle, which closes the circuit. On the upper floor, the room sequence of the skylight halls has been extended and its effect strengthened by the installation of modern daylight ceilings. A new temporary exhibition area was created in the basement.
The facade and interior each follow their logic. The clear structure of the historic facade defines the exterior, while the needs of the exhibition are the priority on the interior. Here, the space should recede into the background in favor of the exhibits. For this reason, the windows in the exhibition spaces appear only as abstract illuminated surfaces. A consistent approach was needed to solve the transition from the façade to the exhibition design. The window openings develop from the interior logic and are understood as a separate spatial layer. They are covered with gauze and independent from the geometry of the façade openings, preserving the tranquility of the rooms without hiding the multi-layered nature of the building. This idea made it possible to integrate the light openings of the new foyer, displaced in the facade, into the overall picture. The continuous, polished concrete floor and the light-colored walls connect the old and new room sequences into a single unit.


Simon-Louis-du-Ry-Plakette of the Association of German Architects (BDA) in Hesse 2013

Negotiation procedure Top Rank, 2005
Client Land Hessen
User Museumslandschaft Hessen Kassel
Planning started 2006
Completion 2011
Total floor area 7,850 sqm

Planning and Realization
Project Coordination: Per Pedersen
Project Management: Ayşe Hiçşaşmaz, Jan Holländer
Team: Anne Kirsch, Diana Sarić, Jens Achtermann, Sibel Yilmaz, Sonja Hehemann, Antje Bittorf, Julia Löscher, Petra Wäldle

Local Construction Management: ATELIER 30 Architekten GmbH
Werner Huthmacher