Barkow Leibinger

Barkow Leibinger
Schillerstraße 94, D–10625 Berlin
T +49(0)30 315712 -0 F -29

Museum der Weltkulturen, Frankfurt am Main

The proposed design for the expansion of the Museum of World Cultures pursues two overarching goals: at its site, the new building should lend the institution a strong structural identity and should self-assuredly join the "family" of museums on Schaumainkai, but without making a spectacular gesture. In addition, the special portfolio of exhibits - which brings with it other requirements than those of an art collection - should be given a suitable location.

The planned buildings are integrated into the existing flowing landscape; they try, to a great extent, to dematerialize and in their external appearance they try to obscure the boundaries between architecture and exterior space. Three pavilions and a pergola are offset from one other and are also staggered in height. The result is a dynamic sequence of bodies and spaces. In their "meandering" ground plan, the new buildings close the existing cluster of buildings and form a clear structural border on the park as a counterpart to the Museum of Applied Arts.

The pavilions are not massive foreign bodies; they are placed easily and tentatively on the lawn, reflecting light and the colors of the park. The planned façade made of lightweight sheet metal units envelops the structure and its functional inner climate like a light throw-over. As a building ensemble in the park, the museum can truly exist as part of the environment; it can become part of the green space through a strategy of imitation, it can dissolve capture images from the park in the outer shell, distort them and project them back. The façade uses simple means to arouse curiosity about what lies behind it.


Project Information


Barkow Leibinger, Berlin

Frank Barkow, Regine Leibinger



Martina Bauer, Michael Bölling, Jonathan Kleinhample, Ina Reinecke, Tanja Salomäki, Gabriel Tamez, Erika Tillberg, Katrin Voermanek, Jens Weßel



Frankfurt, Germany