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stacked paper and historical buildings inform the design of an art gallery in göttingen, germany

designed by atelier ST, ‘kunsthaus göttingen’ is a recently completed art gallery in the german town of göttingen. the five story building exhibits international and local artwork with a focus on photography, new media and works on paper. for its design, the team strikes a delicate balance between enlivening a new arts district while respecting the centuries-old architecture of göttingen’s old town.

atelier ST + gesellschaft von architekten complete göttingen art gallery designboom

image © simone bossi

 

 

the exterior of the art gallery follows the lines and geometries of the surrounding architecture and uses details typical of the region such as projecting storys and steep roofs. however, atelier ST applied a distinctly contemporary elevational treatment and interior design. as a result, the building fits into the context yet announces itself as a modern house of arts.

atelier ST + gesellschaft von architekten complete göttingen art gallery designboom

image © dominik keul [KOLLEKTIV B]

 

 

the front façade is finished in horizontal lines of plaster to evoke stacked paper or book pages, making reference to the paper exhibits on view. to achieve this linear horizontal pattern, a historical but forgotten technique was employed – combed modeling plaster. using a specially made template with irregular grooves, soft, natural mineral plaster was carefully combed on each floor. this treatment also reflects similar surfaces of buildings in the old town.

atelier ST + gesellschaft von architekten complete göttingen art gallery designboom

image © simone bossi

 

 

the projection of each floor level not only generates maximum exhibition space but also establishes another connection to the urban surroundings, which are characterized by half-timbered structures with cantilevered ceilings and roofs. in this way, the new building is naturally embedded in the structure of göttingen’s old town but the imposing appearance of the kunsthaus, with just a few metallic openings, marks it out as a contemporary educational venue with international appeal.

atelier ST + gesellschaft von architekten complete göttingen art gallery designboom

image © simone bossi

 

 

regarding the division of the program, there’s a foyer on the ground floor that’s conceived as a link between the public street space, museum and courtyard. the next three levels contain the exhibition spaces. in spite of the cramped plot size, the column-free solid reinforced concrete structure affords spacious exhibition areas as well as maximum flexibility on all floors.

atelier ST + gesellschaft von architekten complete göttingen art gallery designboom

image © simone bossi

 

 

the exhibition rooms are lit by a finely balanced artificial lighting system and are essentially independent of natural daylight. only a few windows in the form of individual openings offer specific views of the urban surroundings. the rooms can also be completely darkened by means of sliding wall constructions.

atelier ST + gesellschaft von architekten complete göttingen art gallery designboom

image © simone bossi

 

 

the converted attic top floor is used for art education. large, naturally lit lecture rooms can be used for seminars, special events, presentations and openings. for these purposes, the west side of the roof was designed as an incised terrace area with room-high sliding glass windows. a small serving kitchen on the top floor provides culinary delights for events. alternatively, the rooms can also be used for exhibitions, projections, and more. the basement contains additional uses such as storage, sanitary facilities, cloakroom and all technical areas.

atelier ST + gesellschaft von architekten complete göttingen art gallery designboom

image © simone bossi

atelier ST + gesellschaft von architekten complete göttingen art gallery designboom

image © simone bossi

atelier ST + gesellschaft von architekten complete göttingen art gallery designboom

image © simone bossi

atelier ST + gesellschaft von architekten complete göttingen art gallery designboom

image © simone bossi

atelier ST + gesellschaft von architekten complete göttingen art gallery designboom

image © simone bossi

kunsthaus-gottingen-house-of-arts-germany-designboom-01X

image © simone bossi

atelier ST + gesellschaft von architekten complete göttingen art gallery designboom

image © simone bossi

 

 

project info:

 

name: kunsthaus göttingen

location: göttingen, germany

client: city of göttingen

architect: atelier ST

year: 2021

photography: simone bossi, dominik keul [KOLLEKTIV B]

film: ertzui film

 

designboom has received this project from our ‘DIY submissions‘ feature, where we welcome our readers to submit their own work for publication. see more project submissions from our readers here.

 

edited by: lynne myers | designboom

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