Arp Museum

Richard Meier & Partners
Arp Museum
Remagen-Rolandseck, Germany The translucent tower walls illuminate the shaft and elevators, with added illumination and hints of views provided by transparent glass slots in the tower walls.
Photo: Roland Halbe The design of the Arp Museum represents the seamless integration of the building’s spectacular site with the museum’s mission to showcase the work of the Dadaist Master Hans Arp and his circle.
Photo: Roland Halbe
Photo: Roland Halbe One of the unique features of the region in which the museum is located is the series of medieval castles that line a 35-mile stretch of the river Rhine. The Arp Museum, sited on a wooded escarpment overlooking the Rhine, is intended to respond to and echo the forms of these captivating relics.
Photo: Roland Halbe The structure’s entry sequence does not begin in the museum proper, but rather at the base of the bank-side mountain, in the old village railway station, used since the 1960s as an exhibition space. The lowest level of the station functions as the main entrance to the new museum building, which is reached only gradually by a series of carefully modulated tunnels and shafts that burrow into and up through the mountain to the new building.
The first of these subterranean sequences begins from this lobby, which leads to a 40 meter long tunnel, illuminated by two continuous bands of light, that extends below ground under the railway tracks to an exhibition pavilion that stands independent of the main museum building.
Photo: Roland Halbe
Photo: Roland Halbe
Photo: Roland Halbe The modest pavilion features polished concrete floors and a discreet slotted skylight. Aside from providing ancillary temporary exhibition space, the pavilion also establishes a sense of expectation and uncertainty that is further reinforced by the next sequence, which materializes as another subterranean tunnel, this time 35 meters long and terminating at the bottom of a dramatic 40-meter-high shaft with access to two glass-enclosed elevators.
Photo: Roland Halbe
Photo: Roland Halbe These elevators ascend through the shaft to a conical tower structure above grade. Here the translucent tower walls illuminate the shaft and elevators, with added illumination and hints of views provided by transparent glass slots in the tower walls. At the tower’s apex the elevators open onto a 16-meter-long, glass-enclosed bridge which represents the final stage of the sequential promenade into the museum.
Photo: Roland Halbe
Photo: Roland Halbe
Photo: Roland Halbe The entry to the museum’s ground floor is flanked to the right by a freestanding staircase leading to the lower and upper levels and to the left by a void overlooking the lower-level lobby. In addition to the lobby, which offers visitors an opportunity for rest and repose, the lower level features a classroom, administrative offices, service facilities, and access for shipping and receiving art. In fact, the oversized service elevator, designed to facilitate the movement of art, also functions as the visitors’ elevator and provides a galvanizing core around which the gallery spaces on the ground and upper floors are organized.
Photo: Roland Halbe
Photo: Roland Halbe
Photo: Roland Halbe More specifically, at the ground level these spaces include two large galleries with access to two terraces, as well as a smaller enclosed gallery.
The spaces on the upper floor are distributed in the same manner as on the ground floor; however, rather than opening onto terraces, the two large galleries on the upper floor occupy a seemingly free-floating platform supported by columns so that they overlook the ground floor galleries at the east and west edges.
Photo: Roland Halbe
Photo: Roland Halbe
Photo: Roland Halbe The two main upper-level galleries are illuminated from above by a ceiling composed almost entirely of glazing, with a series of 2-foot-wide adjustable aluminum louvers providing complete daylight or daylight modulated with artificial light. A similar, though immobile, louver system occupies the double-height glazed facade facing the Rhine, opening the museum to breathtaking views of the surrounding valley.
Photo: Roland Halbe
Photo: Roland Halbe View Arp Museum model and drawings in earlier arcspace feature. Total area: 3,400 square meters
Completed: 2007 Client: Ministery of Finance, Rheinland Pfalz
Arp Museum, Bahnhof Rolandseck
Client Representative: Landesbetrieb Bau, Koblenz Architects: Richard Meier & Partners Architects LLP
Principal in Charge: Richard Meier
Design Partner: Bernhard Karpf
Project Architect: Stefan Scheiber
Designers:
Bernhard Stocker
Michael Thanner
Collaborators:
Clay Collier
James Luhur
Aaron Vaden-Youmans Associate Architect: Ehrensberger&Oertz Architekten
Principal: Matthias Oertz
Site Administration:
Thomas Böhling
Marco Theil
Thilo Bergmann
Structural Engineers:
Buro Happold (Schematic Design)
Draheim Ingenieure
Geotechnical Engineer:
Dietrich Beratende Ingenieure
Witt, Jehle & Kriechbaum
Mechanical Engineer:
Zibell – Willner & Partner
Freiländer & Partner
Electrical Engineer: Müller & Bleher
Facade Consultant: Albrecht Memmert & Partner
Lighting Consultant: Müller & Bleher
Acoustic Consultant:
Trümper – Overath – Heimann – Römer
Ingenieurgesellschaft für Bauphysik Richard Meier & Partners arcspace features Nevember 19, 2007

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