Like a large, abstract painting
Oct 27, 2009

Whereas the main aim of the architecture inside the Brandhorst museum in Munich, realized by the Berlin based architects Sauerbruch Hutton, is to create ideal conditions for the art on display, the exterior appears itself like a large, abstract painting. The polychromatic skin consists of several layers: Covering substructure and thermal installation, there is a horizontally folded bi-coloured sheet-metal skin with fine perforations that absorb the noise of traffic from the streets.

Attached in front of this horizontal element there are 36,000 vertical ceramic rods, which are glazed in 23 different colours. The rods are grouped into three families of differing hue and tonality (light-medium-dark) and arranged in such a way that the building appears to consist of three interlocking individual volumes. The layering of horizontal and vertical lines as well as the contrast and coincidence of colours create a visual impression of oscillation- almost of dematerialisation - on the exterior walls of the building. This surface seems to change with the movement of the observer.

Seen from afar, the colour groups coalesce to form one neutral colour with respectively differing brightness and tone. Seen from close to, each of these fields resolves into its individual hues. Between an oblique view, in which the ceramic rods merge visually into a solid plane, and the frontal view, in which the mineral layer parts to let the horizontally striated background become visible and dominant, countless visual variations of materiality and structure are possible.