We’ve been following the progress of Herzog and de Meuron’s recent projects, such as the construction stages of the Elbe Philharmonic and the design of the Museum der Kulturen Basel. Yet, every so often, it is interesting to view some of the firm’s older projects to see the common line of thought running throughout their portfolio and examine how their design process has evolved throughout the years to respond to newer technologies, materials and environmental concerns. Although the Sammlung Goetz Museum in Munich was designed and constructed nearly two decades ago, the project illustrates the firm’s obsession with the building’s outer treatment. Material selection and facade design is an important facet of the firm’s identity, but we noticed another common thread between this project and their future works – the fascination with the floating volume.
More about the museum, including more photos, after the break.
The Goetz gallery is a freestanding volume nestled on an intimate site between the street and a house from the 1960s. The galleries sit on the lower and upper floors with two reinforced-concrete tubes resting between the spaces holding the office and reception area.
“Depending on the daylight conditions and the point of view of the observer, the gallery appears either as a closed, flush volume consisting of related materials (birch plywood, matt glass, untreated aluminum) or as a wooden box, resting on two trowels in the garden,” explained Herzog & de Meuron.
Through their glazing selection, the project has a dramatic evening essence, as the upper glowing galleries seem to hover over the illuminated ground level. Such parallels to the floating volume parti have been further developed by the firm, just look at their Philharmonic – a transparent dynamic form topping an old masonry base – or perhaps, even the balancing act of the Vitra Haus where the illuminated faces of the volumes provide an offset-set composition of suspended glowing pentagons in the evening.