In Wiesbaden, in west-central Germany, the Reinhard Ernst Museum designed by Japanese architect Fumihiko Maki, winner of the Pritzker Prize in 1993, is currently under construction. The structure, which is expected to open its doors to the public in spring 2023, will house the private collection of entrepreneur Reinhard Ernst, consisting of over 860 abstract art works.
From May 14 of this year, the public of the Aedes Architecture Forum in Berlin can discover all the various steps that have led to the definition of the museum project and the ongoing construction work currently underway in Wiesbaden thanks to the Making the Museum Reinhard Ernst" exhibition. An unusual exhibition, as it documents a process in progress rather than a finished work.
The exhibition consists of sketches, drawings, models, photos and artefacts organised into four general themes: Context, Form, Detail and Construction. The space of the Berlin gallery has been accordingly divided into four quadrants, so that each could accommodate a specific exhibition theme. For Kristin Feireiss and Hans-Jürgen Commerell, directors of the Aedes Architecture Forum, the Reinhard Ernst Museum is the result of an agreement managed in an exemplary way by the entrepreneur and by the city. The city administration has, in fact, made available a centrally located property with a 99-year lease and the Reinhard & Sonja Ernst Foundation has fully financed the museum project. A process that began in 2010 and was made possible by the long-standing friendship between entrepreneur Reinhard Ernst and Japanese architect Fumihiko Maki, although it has more distant roots. Entrepreneur Reinhard Ernst, in fact, had started his collection back in the 1970s and has been wanting to make the more than 860 works collected accessible to the public for quite some time. From here, the idea of a museum of abstract art, through which to organise exhibitions of the collection, as well as loans with other museums, becoming an important international reference point in this artistic domain.
Architect Fumihiko Maki responded to these needs by designing a three-storey museum building that fits into Wiesbaden's historical context, while clearly signalling its contemporaneity. The ground floor with the entrance is dominated by a fully glazed, full height courtyard to provide natural light throughout the building. The different functions are organised through areas arranged around the inner courtyard and consist of simple stone-clad volumes, suspended or cantilevered above the glazed ground floor, in a game of expertly orchestrated balances and made possible by special steel connections and the accurate structural design carried out by the Bollinger + Grohmann studio. Almost devoid of internal vertical structures, the museum offers generous and interconnected exhibition spaces. In addition, a circulation network around the courtyard provides access to the exhibition rooms which, through a series of targeted openings allow visitors to enjoy panoramic, transversal and multi-level views of the museum.
Images courtesy of Aedes Architecture Forum Berlin and by © Maki and Associates, © K. Helbig/F. Marburger, © schneider+schumacher
Making the Museum Reinhard Ernst
Maki and Associates, Tokyo
Exhibition: May 14 – June 29, 2022
Venue: Aedes Architecture Forum, Christinenstr. 18–19, 10119, Berlin www.aedes-arc.de
Opening Hours: Tue–Fri 11 am – 6.30 pm, Sun–Mon 1 – 5 pm & Sat, May 14 1 – 5 pm
Opening: Friday, May 13, 2022, 6.30 pm
Photos and Renders: © Courtesy of Maki and Associates, © K. Helbig/F. Marburger, © Courtesy of schneider+schumacher