KOCHEL AM SEE (DE) - The Franz Marc Museum, which stands in the shadow of the Bavarian Alps in a landscape of lakes, moors and rolling hills, houses the collection of German expressionist painter Franz Marc. When it discovered that it would be acquiring the collection of the Etta and Otto Stangl Foundation, the museum decided it was time to renovate the existing building and to expand its premises with a completely new building.
Architects Diethelm & Spillmann, who won the resulting competition in 2005, joined the old villa, dating from around 1900, with its saddle roof, balconies and white stuccoed walls, to the new, three-storey cube with an enclosed walkway. The villa now houses a studio space, library, café and offices while the entire art collection is accommodated in the new building which the architects have managed to make light and bright without resorting to complicated daylighting strategies.
The similarly restrained exterior is clad with Crailsheimer lacustrine limestone. The use of three different lengths and widths of stone gives the building a decidedly horizontal layer structure which is further emphasized by the deeply recessed jointing. The huge blocks of stone were sliced into 11-centimetre-thick slices that have a very distinctive relief of irregular grooves made by the diamond saw which 'shuddered' whenever it met especially strong resistance.
Each of the four facades is interrupted by a large window – one for each point of the compass. The black-framed window on the west side is particularly noticeable as it is pushed forward slightly, like a drawer. The four windows turn the landscape that Franz Marc loved so well into framed pictures, permanently on show in the museum's changing exhibitions. (Hannah Schubert)