The Museum for German History is a machine to make people appreciate Regensburg’s historic core. It is a highly flexible contemporary structure that allows for a number of different uses of its various spaces while turning its surroundings as the main character of an urban stage where cultural and contemporary achievements that took place in Bavaria are put on stage. The Museum responds to the existing urban texture and skyline staying away from mimetic posture. It is made of white box sitting on top of a glass box shaping an atrium/galleria that provides a direct North south visual link between the various boats sailing along the Donau and the main visitor’s entry point as framed by the Kolpinghaus building on the south side. The Museum acts therefore as an urban connector between these two important features of the historic core of Regensburg.
The lobby is the central heart of the Museum and of the city, both functionally and metaphorically. All parts of the program are accessible from the lobby either directly—the black box, the temporary exhibition area, the pedagogy, the museum shop, the Gastronomy—or indirectly, like the skybox or the permanent collection area, whose first room is accessed by way of a monumental staircase. A promenade through the opaque interior exhibition spaces begins from the lobby. The visitor is gradually invited to get away from the historic city around that emerges, sporadically via some circular apertures located at key, strategic points along the architectural promenade leading to a terrace overlooking the Donau first and then with skybox pointing directly toward the city cathedral and the Bavarian sky.
The section reflects a programmatic and structural difference in the two boxes. The spaces for temporary exhibitions and events are located at the ground floor, they have a flat ceiling with an average height of 6.50 meters. The spaces for exhibiting the permanent collection are located at the first level, they are housed under a curved roof and have an average height of 6 meters for the section devoted to the XIX century and of 7.50 meters for the sections dealing with the XX and XXI century. All spaces are informed by a great flexibility that is more anonymous at the ground floor and becomes more personal at the first level, with smaller ‘rooms’ for the XIX century section and one large, undivided 50 meter long galleria under a generous ‘concrete velarium.’
The structure reflects all different spaces, as the number of supports diminishes from 32 to 11. This reduction has dramatic consequences for the form of the ceilings, which must span great distances at both levels in order to ensure flexibility. The flat ground floor ceiling rests on a grid of approximately 10 by 10 meters column frame gives therefore ways to a 1 meter tall reinforced concrete beam-like roof with ‘landscaping values’ that needs only sporadic support. The Museum introduces a new dramatic roof shape in a cityscape made of pitched roofs that underline the exceptional character of the complex. The iconic value of the building is both in its interior space and in the relationship between the structure and the surroundings. In this respect, the Museum differs fundamentally from many other museums projects of the current architectural scene.
c-b-a stands for context of bare architecture, which means that we aim to find the bare life of architectural form, namely a form stripped of the prevailing rhetoric of the day.
Since its inception c-b-a has been involved with the design of a number of building types, ranging from public library to museum, school complexes and stadium, with the majority of the executed work revolving around the production of office buildings and housing.
As of late, c-b-a has been increasingly involved in a number of activities engaging with the city of Berlin. These include the design a number of contemporary housing complexes in Berlin (in partnership with the leading Italian company in the construction of wood technology) that acknowledge the new social and living conditions (like the increasing atomization of the traditional family structure) or the a new model of living/working units that may provide a provisional solution to the on-going refugee emergency.
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