Germany, Mannheim 

Kunsthalle Mannheim


Design Meinhard von Gerkan and Nikolaus Goetze with Volkmar Sievers
Project leader, competition Di Miao
Competition design team Ulrich Rösler, Mira Schmidt, Steffen Lepiorz, Liselotte Knall, Kai Siebke, Frederik Heisel
Team 3D and visualization Markus Carlsen, Tom Schülke, Jens Schuster, Christoph Pyka, Kenneth Wong
Project leader, execution Liselotte Knall, Kerstin Steinfatt
Execution design team Anna Falkenbach, Ulrich Rösler, Raimund Kinski, Amra Sternberg, Viktoria Wagner, Hanna Diers, Michèle Watenphul
Client Kunsthalle Mannheim Foundation
GFA 17,366 m²



gmp Architekten

The new museum building at Friedrichsplatz in Mannheim links up with the historic Art Nouveau building and has been designed as a “city in the city”. Within a simple overall structure, individual units have been arranged in an inspiring composition to provide exhibition space and rooms for supporting functions. They enclose a central atrium and are linked via galleries, terraces and bridges. In analogy to the elements that make up urban environments – buildings, blocks, streets and squares – the architects have created varied circular routes through enclosed and open spaces with changing vistas and outlooks.

As was planned at the time of the foundation of the Kunsthalle a hundred years ago, it is given a prestigious elevation towards the park at Friedrichsplatz to mark its contribution to the urban context. From there, visitors enter the central atrium via the new main entrance. The atrium is the point of orientation and also the starting point for the circular tours through special exhibitions and constantly changing displays of collection exhibits on three levels, two of which are connected with the existing building. The exhibition concept includes large rooms with back-lit ceilings that can be used in a variety of ways, as well as individual cubes with lateral lighting, and a large open terrace that was specially designed for the museum’s important sculpture collection. The third floor includes a roof garden in the circular tour, from where visitors can enjoy a view of Friedrichsplatz. The facades are cloaked with a transparent metal mesh consisting of bronze-colored stainless steel that defines the external shape of the building and creates a respectful dialogue with the sandstone color of the neighboring buildings.