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Buttler Architekten, Viewable depot Kunsthalle Rostock

Shimmering ornamentation: Viewable depot for Kunsthalle Rostock

When Kunsthalle Rostock was built in 1969, the exhibition building was always meant to be complemented with a repository. Now, 50 years later, one has been planned and built – right on time to take the strain off the existing storage areas.  Buttler Architects handled the draft planning and collaborated with Matrix Architecture on the execution planning.

The two volumes relate to each other in various ways, as in the form language, which in both cases is minimalist and reduced to a few materials only. Yet while the Kunsthalle set store by design elements such as clinker brick and reconstructed stone masonry, the new building is encased in printed glass in a modern interpretation of the surface relief on the existing building's façade.  In determining the print pattern, Buttler Architects reduced the Kunsthalle relief step by step to finally arrive at dot hatching.

One of the purposes of the viewable depot is to provide more storage space for the exhibition hall, and accordingly it is articulated with as few columns as possible for increased flexibility. Building services ensure a high degree of security and an adjustable indoor temperature, plus sensitive artworks requiring storage in certain light conditions are provided rooms especially tailored to their requirements.

However, the depot also contains exhibition areas, meaning it needs to accommodate considerable fluctuations in indoor climate, affecting storage conditions in turn.  To find a suitable technical solution the necessary values were simulated in advance at a climate model. The findings indicated the need to restrict the number of visitors, meaning that only two groups of ten people each are allowed to visit the rooms.  Monitoring is provided by visual and acoustic alarm devices that go off the moment climatic thresholds are reached.

The interior is protected by the building's well-insulated skin from undesirable outside influences such as humidity and fluctuations in temperature, while wall heating and cooling systems integrated in its internal walls keep the rooms at a steady temperature.

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