The Städel Museum reopened to the public last weekend after 3 years of renovations and expansions by local Frankfurt firm, Schneider Schumacher. The renovation included an extension placed along the central axis, which works to reinstate the historic spatial arrangement. The central foyer and all the vertical axis circulations were renovated to provide wheelchair access. A new special exhibition area was also created on the ground floor, while the administration, auditorium, and library were relocated to the west wing.
The star of the renovation though is the new contemporary gallery located in the courtyard, and topped with a bulging green roof. The garden/roof is dotted with huge round skylights that flood the subterranean gallery with loads of natural daylight. During the day, the gallery space is infused with an even natural glow and at night the interior lights shine out through the portholes on the roof. Visitors can freely walk on the round skylights and lounge in the garden. In addition, the museum underwent energy efficiency upgrades and makes use of a large heat storage capacity to create an optimal room climate with minimal energy consumption. As the jury noted in their citation, “Frankfurt is given not only a distinctive and unique exhibition space, but a state of the art green building too.”
Images ©Norbert Miguletz courtesy of the Städel Museum