|Oswald Mathias Ungers - Germany|
Obenmarspforten 40, Cologne
1996 - 2001
This building is the result of a architectural design competition. The site of the new Museum is the boundary of the historic Gürzenich complex
towards the Rathausplatz. The Gürzenich complex consists of the gothic hall structure with various postwar additions and the ruined Church of St. Alban.
This complex shows interventions by the famous architect Rudolf Schwarz. The focus of the competition was the approach to this heterogeneous
architectural composition and the historic surroundings of the Rathausplatz.
The proposal by Oswald Mathias Ungers envisioned the division of the intendend building mass in two volumes. One building is adapted to the surroundings
and integrated into the cleft in the existing buildings. The second volume is freestanding, and the juncture between the two building volumes occupies the site
of a historic street. This juncture contains the circulation of the museum and is considered to be a revival of the circulation area. The new Wallraf-Richartz-Museum
is now an augmetation and completion of the Gürzenich complex.
The entire exhibition area is accomodated in the main building on the Rathausplatz, while the other building colume houses the subsidary spaces.
The exhibition area is conceived to allow a high degree of flexibility. The permanent collection is in the spaces of the first to third floors. The spaces
of the first and second stories are illuminated by a high sidelight, while the exhibition spase on the third story is lit by skylights. The temporary exhibition
is located in the basement level. This space has a separate access from the entrance hall.