The Mercedes of Museums
Ordered chronologically the two exhibition strands begin at the top of the building and culminate at the bottom. Visitors start the tour by taking the capsule-like elevator to the eighth floor, which builds anticipation before the experience begins.
The ‘Mythos’ route tells the history of Mercedes-Benz, unfolding through thematic displays in enclosed galleries.
The ‘Collection’ route showcases collections of vehicles in bright, daylit galleries.
The exhibition areas are structured around a central triangular atrium that rises as an open core through the building. This impressive void frames the inner workings of the building and offers changing perspectives of the interior as visitors weave their way through the exhibitions.
Alternating between open and enclosed the exhibition spaces are linked by the intersecting, spiral routes. This routing enables visitors to view the exhibits from near and far, as well as from above, when descending into the gallery spaces.
In case of fire, smoke is extracted from the building through a novel ‘tornado’ smoke elimination system developed especially for the museum. Smoke is sucked from the open gallery spaces into the void and then released via 144 air nozzles at the top of the atrium.
The Twist - Integrating infrastructure, organisation and load-bearing, in one gesture
The twist forms a striking transformative element throughout the building. As a key load-bearing structure, the twist supports exhibition levels spanning more than 100 feet without intermediate columns.
The top surface of each twist becomes a circulation ramp that seamlessly transitions between the staggered gallery plateaus.
“You could, finally, name the 2006 Mercedes Benz Museum in Stuttgart, by the Dutch firm UNStudio, as proof that 21st-century temples to automotive design can be meaningful pieces of architecture, sophisticated enough to hold their own against the cars they hold, and unapologetic crowd pleasers at the same time.”
Christopher Hawthorne, Los Angeles Times, 2015
Culture & Commerce
How to transform a commercial showcase into a cultural landmarkThe project was initially considered as a commercial showcase for Mercedes-Benz vehicles throughout time. We asked ourselves, could it be more? What would happen if we combined culture and commerce and created a cultural destination that embodied the Mercedes-Benz brand.
Over 7.1 million visitors since 2006
“The representative visitor surveys conducted over the years confirm how well the different factors work together: these regularly show an outstandingly good satisfaction rating of 1.5 on a scale of 1 to 6 – and usually the score is even slightly better. A total of over 7.1 million visitors since 2006 is another confirmation of success. The second-best result was achieved in 2015, with 772,750 visitors. The onrush was only greater in the year after the Museum opened.”
Daimler Read about our ongoing explorations of this theme in the Culture & Commerce workfield.
Culture & Commerce
In the Culture & Commerce workfield we explore how these two seemingly opposing forces can successfully co-exist and collaborate in the same space. We dive into the worlds of fashion, cultural events, urban renewal projects, cultural institutions and legacy museums, in search of ways to turn potential conflicts of interests into moments of opportunity. When successfully implemented, these become locations where meaningful exchanges between culture and commerce can be applied in the built environment for mutual benefit.Read more
Concept and Design
- Geometrical Explorations
- The Twist
- Managing the Mother Model