Sumit Singhal loves modern architecture. He comes from a family of builders who have built more than 20 projects in the last ten years near Delhi in India. He has recently started writing about the architectural projects that catch his imagination.
Städel Museum Extension in Frankfurt, Germany by Schneider+Schumacher
July 2nd, 2012 by Sumit Singhal
Article source: Schneider+Schumacher
The Frankfurt Städel Museum is about to undergo the largest expansion ever in the course of its nearly two-hundred-year history – with regard to its architecture and its collection alike. In the autumn of 2009, in conjunction with numerous important additions to the museum’s holdings, work commenced on the construction of an annex for the presentation of contemporary art. Designed by the architectural firm schneider+schumacher of Frankfurt, this extension will open its doors for the first time on 25 and 26 February with two Open House days and a big public celebration.
Situated beneath the Städel garden, the light-flooded gallery provides some 3,000 square metres of additional exhibition space, thus doubling the area available for the presentation of the Städel’s holdings. Reaching as much as eight metres in height, the new hall will be supplied with natural light through 195 perfectly round skylights measuring 1.5 to 2.5 metres in diameter and forming a distinctive pattern on the garden lawn.
The financing of the overall project – which encompasses the refurbishment of the old building as well as the construction of the new – has already been concluded. Amounting to approximately 52 million euros in total (34 million euros for the annex and 18 million for the renovation measures), fifty percent of the project costs have been funded through unparalleled support from businesses, foundations and innumerable private citizens, and fifty per cent by public subsidies.
The extension will provide a home to the Städel Museum’s collection of contemporary art. Building on a substantial basis, the post-1945 holdings have undergone significant structural expansion over the course of the past few years. Through the transfer of 600 works from the Deutsche Bank collection and 220 photographs from that of the DZ BANK in 2008, as well as through donations and a stringent purchasing policy, numerous prominent works of painting, photography, drawing and printmaking dating from the past seven decades have made their way into the Städel collection.
In the presentation of the Städel’s holdings, these works unite to convey a special history of painting since 1945. Artistic narratives are to emerge, but not primarily on the basis of existing organization systems such as schools, isms or artists’ groups. On the contrary, the exhibition will bring out the lines of connection that define the art of the post-war period as an art-historical entity in its own right, as well as one inextricably interlinked with early modern art. Within this context, a special focus will be placed on artistic approaches which have received relatively little attention to date.
Founded in 1815 as a private foundation, the Städel Museum has meanwhile assembled a collection of some 3,000 paintings, 600 sculptures, 500 photographs and more than 100,000 drawings and prints. The Städel thus presents a survey of seven hundred years of European art history from the early fourteenth century to the Renaissance, the Baroque, early modern art and the present. Among the highlights of the internationally renowned holdings are works by Lucas Cranach, Albrecht Dürer, Sandro Botticelli, Rembrandt and Jan Vermeer, Claude Monet, Pablo Picasso, Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, Max Beckmann and Alberto Giacommetti, Francis Bacon, Gerhard Richter, Wolfgang Tillmans and Isa Genzken.
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