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During summer 2010 the TMW Technical Museum together with Querkraft Architekten designed a new entrance foyer and museum shop. A modern museum service requires a correspondingly modern level of service – for this purpose space is a must. Older museum buildings are challenged to expand and modernise whilst remaining attached to their existing historical structures. In the 90s the technical museum faced precisely this difficulty as it tried to gain more space for a larger entrance foyer, a new museum shop and café as well as sufficient amenities, cloakroom space and ticketing capacity. The architectural solution that was chosen in the 90s was a steel-glass box placed in front of the existing historical structure. This solution proved problematic on a few levels shortly after the opening in 1999. The foyer was dominated by large temperature fluctuations, poor acoustics and ventilation, as well as less than optimal visitor circulation. A competition followed in which querkraft architekten managed to convince the 6-person jury with their design.

Courtesy of Querkraft Architekten. Photos © Hertha Huranus

Basic principle of the new design:
The creation of a clear master plan and visitor circulation with an accompanying welcoming emotional atmosphere, which improves the building physics. At the middle of their design solution are multifunctional pieces of furniture made of fibre glass reinforced plastic and fabric. These ‘trees’ provide seating, shade and acoustic absorption and at night they serve as illuminate bodies which fill the room with white or blue glowing light. The objects, which resemble trees and can be perceived as an innuendo to the relationship between technology and nature, formally envelope the steel columns and allow a view through the glass ceiling and on to the historical façade.

Courtesy of Querkraft Architekten. Photos © Hertha Huranus

The shop, which has to do with little floor space, receives new, flexible moveable furnishings for the presentation of products – aligned to the overall design principle. The realised design from querkraft architekten reveals a definite architectural statement, which communicates with the existing structure and at the same time fulfils the functional requirements of a modern museum entrance.

Courtesy of Querkraft Architekten. Photos © Hertha Huranus

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