Lenbachhaus Museum in Germany reopens after renovation

7 May 2013 (Last Updated May 7th, 2013 18:30)

The Lenbachhaus Museum in Munich, Germany has reopened after a €59m renovation, which was carried out by the UK-based architectural firm Foster + Partners.

Lenbachhaus Museum

The Lenbachhaus Museum in Munich, Germany has reopened after a €59m renovation, which was carried out by the UK-based architectural firm Foster + Partners.

Under the renovation project, the museum’s buildings have been restored and the exhibition spaces have been expanded adding a new wing to display the ‘Blue Rider’ collection.

The remodelling has created a new entrance and social spaces, including a restaurant, terrace, education facilities and a full-height atrium.

Built in 1891 as a studio and villa for the artist Franz von Lenbach, the Lenbachhaus Museum has been extended over the last 100 years.

The renovation project has transformed a sequence of spaces of different periods into a unified museum, which can be accessed by all.

As part of the project, a 1972 extension was removed to reveal the wall of the original villa, which has been restored in an ochre colour.

The new museum features a new gallery pavilion containing two levels of exhibition space.

Foster + Partners said that the new building is intended ‘as a jewel box for the treasures of the gallery’ and has been clad in metal tubes of an alloy of copper and aluminium that were designed to complement the villa’s ochre colour and textured facades.

The new entrance, which has been created near the restaurant, can be accessed through a new piazza to the east of the museum.

Sustainable features of the project include a water-based heating and cooling system within the floors. Rainwater will be collected and recycled and lighting has been replaced and upgraded with low-energy systems.

Foster + Partners founder Norman Foster said the main challenge has been to maintain the same amount of exhibition area within the museum’s footprint, while creating new circulation and visitor spaces.

"Another important aspect of our design has been creating new opportunities for works of art to be exhibited outside the traditional confines of the gallery, such as in the atrium," Foster said.

"This space develops the idea of the ‘urban room’ – it is the museum’s public and social heart, and point of connection with the wider city."


Image: The renovation of Lenbachhaus Museum includes a new entrance and social spaces. Photo: Courtesy of Foster + Partners.