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Architecture

The history of Neues Museum

Awe-inspiring architecture

Great art needs an appropriate setting: Neues Museum in Nuremberg receives its visitors with dramatic boldness and successfully stages art and design.

Volker Staab's design prevails

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.

Construction time of three years

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.

Modern museum architecture

Successful fusion of old and new

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.

Curved glass façade

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.

Striking spiral staircase

The spiral staircase, visible from afar, is likewise an unmistakable hallmark of Neues Museum, a striking link between the various exhibition levels.

Art in architecture

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")

Artist Rémy Zaugg

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.

Other planning participants

Developer

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)

Building and open spaces

Architect: Volker Staab, Berlin
Construction management: Büro am Lützowplatz, Berlin