Deutsche Guggenheim

Berlin (DE) / Winning design proposal for the new Deutsche Guggenheim, including shop and café, bookstore, limited art editions showcase and an educational multimedia platform / Architecture, lighting, furniture / 2009


Deutsche Guggenheim



Deutsche Bank and Guggenheim



Art Related / Cultural / Civic , Design, Lighting, Retail / Commercial

Berlin (DE)


Entering from the exhibition gallery into the museum shop, working with the existing architecture of the space, AAS formulated an entrance situation through an in-between zone or a transit space, known as a knee space. One becomes aware that one has entered a different setting, due to the variance in room proportions between the gallery and the knee space. At this point the shop space with its very high ceiling and long perspective view, opens up. Working with this perspective, the entering visitor sees a compound vision of vertical and horizontal panels, the purpose of which is to filter the lateral natural and artificial light. The light through the complexity of the thin panels is producing a “sfumato” effect.

One principle idea for the shop’s architecture is to frame and isolate the contained objects displayed. The public enters into the space and its light, then, their attention will be directed at the objects for sale. The room is a long extruded rectangle with a high ceiling and one long side wall letting natural light in. The shop has been divided into three zones, each using distinctive materials. The different materials correspond with the lighting, which creates an interaction between the surfaces, influencing the visitor’s perception. The space has three large-scale furniture elements, which formulate the space: a monumental wall shelf for books and products, vertical legs structure the space, thus filtering the light by reflection. A serpentine middle island contains various partitions. Vertical plates structure the island, while it absorbs the light through its translucent material.

A cafe lounge area, was developed along the natural light. It reflects the light but also the movement and view of the covered courtyard by way of its mirrored finish. The lighting continuously follows the axis of the space until it penetrates the suspended mezzanine. Here, the vanishing point is reversed by gradual dimming of the fluorescent lighting, from bright tube to darker tube. At the end of the lightline, the last and dimmest light ends inside of the suspended platform terminating the pattern of reduction of light. The wall along the light-line, fades from white to ‘medium grey’, which contributes to this degradation of brightness along with the light tubes.

The studio is immerged in a dark atmosphere. The darker atmosphere of the suspended room provides for different functions, such as education space or multimedia gallery. Inside of the suspended mezzanine are two ceiling-high glass walls. The one facing the shop works as projection screen for videos, and as information area. The projection is visible from inside or outside of the space. The projection glass is developed with a rough matt surface, making it not clearly recognisable as glass. Another glass window separates the mezzanine from the main gallery space. This glass is visible from the gallery as a white and frameless surface, installed flush with the wall. From inside of the mezzanine, the multilayered glass is specially developed to stop light transmition into the gallery space – essentially creating an abstract, white, translucent surface.