international Competition 1st Prize
Heinrich Klotz, who had come from the Deutsches Architekturmuseum, founded the Zentrum für Kunst- und Medientechnologie (ZKM) with university attached in Karlsruhe. The innovative institution was accommodated in the magnificent former IWKA weapons and ammunition factory building, which is 312 metres long. Two other museums were also housed in the monumental premises, so since 1992 the Städtische Galerie (Municipal Gallery) has been around the southernmost of the ten light wells, ZKM and the Staatliche Hochschule für Gestaltung HfG (Design College) have used four and three light wells respectively. Now a final institution has come into being in the two northernmost light wells, the Museum für Neue Kunst MNK (New Art). All the premises are designed by Schweger und Partner. The MNK accommodates several important private collections of international contemporary art. The three exhibition levels are open galleries arranged around the halls with their contemplative atmosphere. The galleries are the result of a more austere, calmer interpretation of the cathedral-like industrial architecture than was used for the neighbouring cultural institutions. A gently shimmering asphalt floor and suspended metal ceilings, along with white screen walls that can be positioned flexibly create the pockets of space whose neutral design deliberately makes the works of art the dominant presence. The artificial lighting, which can be adjusted to create the best possible effect, and the louvre-controlled zenith light from the hall roofs makes a wide variety of exhibition scenarios and conditions that are appropriate to the art possible in the imposing building, which has still not lost its character as industrial architecture.