The exhibition in the galleries directly behind the museum’s glass facade shows the profound influence of context on the work of Staab Architects. Realized and planned projects from a 29-year period highlight different facets of the notion of “context” that go far beyond the usual definition of “a building’s immediate physical surroundings”.
In images, models and animations, Staab Architects show the range of influences drawn on for the planning and design of their projects. Societal issues and aspects of human perception play a part here, as well as historical specificities and the question of the building’s future. These often conflicting levels of reference are analysed and weighed up before being transformed, in an intuitive process of deliberation, into an (ideally timeless) spatial concept.
The point of departure for the show is the winning design for Neues Museum Nuremberg. This 1991 competition entry marked the beginning not only of the radically contemporary museum of art in Nuremberg’s old town, but also of Volker Staab’s own firm of architects that has since become one of Germany’s most successful. Public buildings for art, research and education have remained the firm’s main focus. The firm’s approach is illustrated especially clearly by projects in sensitive urban and rural locations, and by conversions and reinterpretations of listed historical monuments. Here we see how the complex conditions of architecture are condensed into a simple form that works only at this particular location. Focussing on the essentials is the key, a principle pursued down to the smallest detail via the conceptual use of form, material and colour.
With the exhibition in Nuremberg, the architects use the museum’s six facade spaces in an unusual way. Depending on the weather and the time of day, a transparent visual layer changes the effect of the main sightlines in the building and transforms the open spaces into bright booths. This intervention not only underlines the museum’s outward relatedness to the square in front of it, but also plays with the basic idea of making the museum’s inner spaces visible behind the glass facade.
To ensure that official guidelines on maximum numbers, hygiene and distancing are followed in the specific spatial situation of this exhibition, visitors may be asked to wait before entering. Thank you for your understanding.