Great art needs an appropriate setting: Neues Museum in Nuremberg receives its visitors with dramatic boldness and successfully stages art and design.
In 1990 the Bavarian state government decided to build a 20th-century state museum in Nuremberg. In the subsequent competition for the major new museum building, the design by Berlin-based architect Volker Staab emerged as the clear winner.
Following the groundbreaking ceremony on September 11, 1996, construction was completed in October 1999. Neues Museum in Nuremberg officially opened its doors as the state museum for art and design on April 15, 2000.
With his design, Volker Staab devised an entirely new spatial situation for the building and open spaces on a site within existing urban fabric – between Luitpoldstrasse, Königstrasse and Frauentormauer in Nuremberg's city center.
At the same time he consciously integrated existing building structures. The result: Modern museum architecture meets medieval city walls, a listed old building and the new wings fuse into a harmonious whole.
The 100-meter-long, gently curving glass façade is a defining feature. It blurs the boundaries between exterior and interior and opens up fascinating views both into and from within the building.
The spiral staircase, visible from afar, is likewise an unmistakable hallmark of Neues Museum, a striking link between the various exhibition levels.
An artwork by Swiss artist Rémy Zaugg (1943-2005) is integrated in the architecture.
His statements on the relationship between artwork and observer are positioned in text form on three walls of the museum building. On a fourth wall Zaugg continues an artistic tradition in classical museum buildings by remembering great minds from Nuremberg.
The inscriptions are:
"EIN WERK, EIN MENSCH, EIN WAHRNEHMEN"
"EIN HAUS, EIN WORT, EINE BIBLIOTHEK"
"ABER ICH / DIE WELT / ICH SEHE / DICH"
"HANS SACHS, FEUERBACH, VEIT STOSS, HEGEL, ALBRECHT DÜRER"
("one work, one man, one reception"
"one house, one word, one library"
"but I / the world / I see / you"
"Hans Sachs, Feuerbach, Veit Stoss, Hegel, Albrecht Dürer")
Like hardly any other contemporary artist, Rémy Zaugg (1943-2005) made the relationship between observer and artwork the theme of his art.
He seamlessly moved from a fundamental analysis of the work and its perception to a reflection on its presentation in museum spaces.
Thus the fact that Rémy Zaugg is represented at Neues Museum with more than just panel paintings follows the logic of his work and his thinking about art.
Free State of Bavaria, Bavarian State Ministry of Science, Research and the Arts, represented by the Staatliches Bauamt Erlangen-Nürnberg (Erlangen-Nuremberg State Building Authority)
Architect: Volker Staab, Berlin
Construction management: Büro am Lützowplatz, Berlin
Volker Staab was born in Heidelberg in 1957 and completed his studies at ETH Zurich in 1983.
He has been a freelance architect since 1991 and has also held several guest professorships at various German universities.
In 2011 Volker Staab was awarded the Grosser BDA Preis. He has been Professor at TU Braunschweig (Braunschweig Institute of Technology) since 2012.
His architecture studio is called staabARCHITEKTEN and is based in Berlin.