Vertical Museum

Kassel, Germany

City museum, Kassel, Germany
City museum, Kassel, Germany
City museum, Kassel, Germany
City museum, Kassel, Germany


Conversion and extension of the museum of the documenta city Kassel, Germany

International architect competition, 2009


  • Creation of a unique identification point
  • Very good connection to public transport
  • Creation of public communication zones through gastronomy and museum shop at the ground floor
  • Museum garden
  • Accessible roof terrace for all users


  • Targeted use of non-hazardous materials


  • Use of existing infrastructure
  • High utilization of the property by minimizing the space consumption
  • Interdisciplinary, transparent participation with everyone involved


approx. 1.000 m²

Design team

Marc Böhnke, Mario Reale, Janine Müller


BSCON Spitthöver Consult (fire prevention), Alexander Schmitz (visualization)


A sculptural extension building provides a contrast to the existing museum building in Kassel, Germany. Rather than trying to merge with the context the new cubature and color signalize that change has happened. The four volumes staked above one of each other represent the four different themes of the cultural content the building will host. The building works like a vertical promenade through history. The visitor is guided higher and higher through the historic periods of time, to the top volume which then provides a view above the city. The cantilevering slabs, volumes and the façade protect the building from climatic impacts and prevent a high cooling load during summer. The building‘s skin reacts to the air‘s temperature, the fabric will expand and the mesh widens. The structure of the mesh is irregular so that important view connections will be possible at each density of the textile building skin. This idea combined with minimal technical installations will provide a good comfort in any season and a very low energy demand of the building.

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