Porsche Museum – Germany

Porsche is a company that has always been known for innovation and what better way to display Porsche’s history and legacy than in a museum that does the same?  In July of 2004 Porsche decided to start building a museum in Stuttgart, Germany.  170 entries were received from various architects, but the architectural team of Delugan and Meissl was chosen to complete this undertaking.  Construction began promptly October 2005 and the museum’s keys were handed over in 2008.  The grand opening took place January 31st, 2009.  Like most buildings, construction started from the core up.  About 21000 cubic meters of concrete were utilized for the underground garage, ground floor, second floor and central support beams.   The building is 5600 square meters.  It houses rotating exhibits of 300 restored cars, in working order, most of which look brand new.  It also features a 3000 book library, shop, restaurant, and conference facilities.

            Elke Delugan-Meissl was born in Linz, Austria.  She studied at the University of Technology in Innsbruck and Vienna.  Roman Delugan is from Merano, Italy and studied at the University of Applied Arts in Vienna.  They founded Delugan-Meissl in 1993 and have completed a wide variety of projects, ranging from airports, such as the Kansai International Airport Passenger Terminal Building in Osaka, Japan, the Madrid Congress Center in Madrid, Spain, to Sam’s Creek Home in the United States.  Their architectural style focuses on integrating architecture and its environment.  Unconventional rooms flow together freely and functionally.  They use geometry and spatial relationships with gravity to make the architecture interact with the visitor.  “The architecture of Delugan Meissl Associated Architects is much like language, in which meaning is constituted by the relationships among individual words. In contrast to other architectural philosophies, DMAA do not reduce this principle of hermetic language to a game in and of itself, but rather, they root it in their work with as many multivalent relationships between architecture and its contextual environment as possible, premiating the context of the building and the physical presence of its users.” (http://www.architonic.com/aiabt/delugan-meissl/5201079)

These architectural traits can be observed at the Porsche Museum.  The structure is supported on just 3 v-shaped columns.  The dominant main structure has the illusion of floating above the ground like a monolith.  Due to the polygonal, avant-garde forms and the variety of structures and windows, the base and monolith of the building look different from every angle.  The 23 meter high glazed façade is adorned with the Porsche logo and faces north.  It is an eye-catching complex that still blends in well with its surroundings.  “The Porsche Museum creates a space that gives architectural expression to the company’s confident outlook and discerning standards, while also capturing Porsche’s dynamism. Knowledge, credibility and determination are as fundamental to the philosophy as courage, excitement, power and independence. Every idea is treated as an opportunity actively to tackle fresh challenges and probe the limits, yet still remain true to yourself. This museum endeavours to reflect all that," stated architect Delugan Meissl at the time of the dedication.  (http://www.porsche.com/museum/en/entstehungundarchitektur/)

The building was designed to be inviting and approachable. The main entrance is underneath the building overhang.  Visitors are guided smoothly from the basement level into the superstructure.  From the main lobby, visitors ascend up a ramp to the spacious exhibition area, where they can choose which route to take through the museum.  The interior features a mostly black and white palette.  Straight and clean lines are featured everywhere, starting outside from the sidewalk to the mirrored building itself then into the interior in the grid tile layout.  Different levels of the exhibit can be viewed at the same time as the design is very open.  Movement is conveyed in the architectural layout.  The building reflects the authenticity of Porsche.  Delugan and Meissl have successfully translated the dynamic nature of the Porsche brand into architecture.