Frankfurt: Städel Museum (Germany)

Städel Museum

Schaumainkai 63, 60596 Frankfurt am Main, Germany

Schneider + Schumacher (2008-12)

According to the Städel Museum website, in 1815, ‘the Frankfurt banker and spice merchant Johann Friedrich Städel (1728–1816) bequeathed his house on the Rossmarkt in central Frankfurt, his art and book collection and his whole fortune to the foundation named after him. His will stipulates that the “Städelsches Kunstinstitut” shall from henceforth be accessible to the citizens of Frankfurt as a museum and art school (today’s Städelschule).

Städel Museum, Frankfurt by Schneider + Schumacher 01_Stephen Varady Photo ©

The Städel Museum moved to this riverside building in 1878 – the building modified several times, including major post-war renovations from 1947-63.

Städel Museum, Frankfurt by Schneider + Schumacher 02_Stephen Varady Photo ©

Städel Museum, Frankfurt by Schneider + Schumacher 03_Stephen Varady Photo ©

Städel Museum, Frankfurt by Schneider + Schumacher 06_Stephen Varady Photo ©

Städel Museum, Frankfurt by Schneider + Schumacher 10_Stephen Varady Photo ©

In 2008 Schneider + Schumacher won a competition (with an international jury chaired by Louisa Hutton), with a proposal to bury a new extension below a reconstituted lawn on axis with the existing building – a centrally mounded landscape punctuated with 195 circular skylights (1.5 – 2.5m in diameter).

This 2,600 square metre space now houses the 20th Century collection.

Städel Museum, Frankfurt by Schneider + Schumacher 16_Stephen Varady Photo ©

Städel Museum, Frankfurt by Schneider + Schumacher 17_Stephen Varady Photo ©
Sponsor’s names on skylights

Städel Museum, Frankfurt by Schneider + Schumacher 14_Stephen Varady Photo ©

The design is a clever resolution that reinstates green public space while also providing the much-needed exhibition space.

Städel Museum, Frankfurt by Schneider + Schumacher 11_Stephen Varady Photo ©

The gallery roof is a concrete slab supported on only 12 columns. Further extensive details can be found in this issue of Details publication.

Städel Museum, Frankfurt by Schneider + Schumacher 09_Stephen Varady Photo ©

Städel Museum, Frankfurt by Schneider + Schumacher 07_Stephen Varady Photo ©

To the west is the 1990 extension by Austrian architect, Gustav Peichl, which now forms a backdrop to the new lawn.

Städel Museum, Frankfurt by Schneider + Schumacher 08_Stephen Varady Photo ©

Städel Museum, Frankfurt by Schneider + Schumacher 18_Stephen Varady Photo ©

Städel Museum, Frankfurt by Schneider + Schumacher 20_Stephen Varady Photo ©

Städel Museum, Frankfurt by Schneider + Schumacher 22_Stephen Varady Photo ©

Städel Museum, Frankfurt by Schneider + Schumacher 19_Stephen Varady Photo ©

Städel Museum, Frankfurt by Schneider + Schumacher 26_Stephen Varady Photo ©

Städel Museum, Frankfurt by Schneider + Schumacher 28_Stephen Varady Photo ©

Städel Museum, Frankfurt by Schneider + Schumacher 29_Stephen Varady Photo ©

Along with the new extension, the entry, foyer and general circulation through the building, have all been greatly improved providing much clearer travel paths through the entire building.

Städel Museum, Frankfurt by Schneider + Schumacher 30_Stephen Varady Photo ©

Städel Museum, Frankfurt by Schneider + Schumacher 31_Stephen Varady Photo ©

Städel Museum, Frankfurt by Schneider + Schumacher 32_Stephen Varady Photo ©

Städel Museum, Frankfurt by Schneider + Schumacher 33_Stephen Varady Photo ©

The more traditional gallery spaces have been stripped back and restored with a more processional path passing through them.

Städel Museum, Frankfurt by Schneider + Schumacher 35_Stephen Varady Photo ©

Städel Museum, Frankfurt by Schneider + Schumacher 36_Stephen Varady Photo ©

Städel Museum, Frankfurt by Schneider + Schumacher 37_Stephen Varady Photo ©

Städel Museum, Frankfurt by Schneider + Schumacher 38_Stephen Varady Photo ©

The connection to the Peichl extension has also been appropriately engaged.

Städel Museum, Frankfurt by Schneider + Schumacher 39_Stephen Varady Photo ©

Städel Museum, Frankfurt by Schneider + Schumacher 40_Stephen Varady Photo ©

Städel Museum, Frankfurt by Schneider + Schumacher 41_Stephen Varady Photo ©

The eye is drawn down the beautiful internal stairs towards the new lower extension.

Städel Museum, Frankfurt by Schneider + Schumacher 42_Stephen Varady Photo ©

Städel Museum, Frankfurt by Schneider + Schumacher 43_Stephen Varady Photo ©

Städel Museum, Frankfurt by Schneider + Schumacher 45_Stephen Varady Photo ©

Städel Museum, Frankfurt by Schneider + Schumacher 47_Stephen Varady Photo ©

Finally, a new sculpted concrete stair, with a mosaic of mirror tiles as a backdrop, allows patrons to move to the new underground gallery level.

Städel Museum, Frankfurt by Schneider + Schumacher 50_Stephen Varady Photo ©

Städel Museum, Frankfurt by Schneider + Schumacher 51_Stephen Varady Photo ©

Städel Museum, Frankfurt by Schneider + Schumacher 52_Stephen Varady Photo ©

Städel Museum, Frankfurt by Schneider + Schumacher 53_Stephen Varady Photo ©

Patrons arrive at the new light-filled gallery space where the 12 support columns are concealed within ‘temporary’ walls that can be re-built if, and when required.

Städel Museum, Frankfurt by Schneider + Schumacher 57_Stephen Varady Photo ©

Städel Museum, Frankfurt by Schneider + Schumacher 58_Stephen Varady Photo ©

The skylights allow natural light, but also incorporate diffusion screens and blackout blinds, as well as lighting. These work together with other environmental measures like the geothermal heat pumps and ventilation systems. to provide a balanced environment for the display of sensitive contemporary art works.

Städel Museum, Frankfurt by Schneider + Schumacher 60_Stephen Varady Photo ©

Städel Museum, Frankfurt by Schneider + Schumacher 61_Stephen Varady Photo ©

IMAGES

Further Information:

Place: Städel Museum

Architect: Schneider + Schumacher

Photographer: Stephen Varady

Review: Architectural Record (15 Feb 2013) + Detail (30 Apr 2012)

Map: Städel Museum Map

 

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