Like a Piece from a Missoni Collection – The new Home of the Brandhorst Collection

Like a Piece from a Missoni Collection – The new Home of the Brandhorst Collection

Nobody can really recall who came up with the comparison with the fashion label, but once mentioned, you can’t escape from this association.

So different and yet so attracting the exterior present itself with a shell consisting of 36,000 ceramic rods, forming always new color groups in 24 different shades.
The road was a rather bumpy one after all. In multiple seemingly endless decision periods two concepts turned out to challenge one another, concepts that could not have been any more different from each other: the plain, contained building by Sauerbruch Hutton against an expressive space battle below a closed shell by Zaha Hadid. Finally, the decision was made in favor of the modesty of the architects from Berlin. Something that was and still is a well thought out decision in an era of the not-always-applicable Bilbao effect.

Even before construction began people passing by wondered how a museum building was supposed to be erected here, upon the little remaining premises at the corner Türken / Theresienstraße, right next to the Pinakothek der Moderne. Integrating itself into the heterogenous area of the museum quarter, yet at the same time being a signal of its own. Collection founder Udo Brandhorst wanted a modest museum only serving art. And that’s exactly what he got.

Now voices might be heard that the façade untypical for a museum would hardly be able to keep what it promises in terms of a matching innovative interior. Correct. Architecture has accepted too much of a subordinate role here in favor of the art it houses. But that a fruitful coexistence is possible is something other buildings have already demonstrated. However, the functional structure of suitable rooms for the pieces of the collection, which means large formats, graphics and media art, is well made. A lot of work has gone into lighting and the museum’s technology. That way the architects managed to get a lot of natural lighting into the building, through a clever arrangement of rooms above and below ground level and through re-directing the light coming in from above. And instead of energy devouring air conditioning systems required for preserving art, floors and walls are tempered through component activation – not air. This is what the energy balance benefits from, not to mention the room air.

And the one who still has his problems with the colorful façade and the unusual material, which is uncommon for Munich, known to not really fancy experiments, will be surprised when queuing up at the ice cream parlor opposite from the museum: All color shades can be found again in the adjacent streets. On the façade, the color of the entrance door, here a sign, there a canvas blind. It would be to simplified giving reasons for the façade’s material by mentioning visual desires only. Apart from today’s compulsory heat insulation there are folded and perforated metal panels behind the ceramic rods, blocking the noise from the busy street. At least now things have been put straight again. 


Further projects from Munich…

Project details


Sauerbruch Hutton


Construction time: Competition 2002, 2005 - 2009


GFA: 12,000 sqm / 3,200 sqm exhibition area


Free State of Bavaria, Bavarian State Ministry of Science, Research and Art represented by the Governmental Building Authority München 1


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admin's picture
admin 15. April 2011 - 20:00

Menuda mole ridícula y lo mal que tiene que funcionar desde el punto de vista sostenible!! El interor me parece mas acertado pero el exteror y los volúmenes son HORRENDOS!!

admin's picture
admin 27. April 2011 - 11:45

Simplicity within and outside the bizarre.

prabirbanik82's picture
prabirbanik82 20. April 2015 - 13:39

They have used the colorful ceramic rods in the most beautiful way possible to create a stunning effect here. However, to make a building comfortable one should install a good HVAC system. Those who are in the HVAC business they can take help of cutting edge menu pricing system which they could find at

modhuleenab's picture
modhuleenab 20. April 2015 - 13:46

The building definitely has a colorful appearance, which would no doubt impress any onlooker. However, properties which have garden areas should be properly maintained, if the garden contains large trees then it would be better to hire a good tree removal service provider like Grandiflora Services, LLC which could be found at

prabirbanik82's picture
prabirbanik82 24. April 2015 - 10:14

Thanks to the clever use of these rods the building is looking so colorful. However, for such a large building one needs to use the right construction materials, most of these materials could be bought online, for example, if you need pumping equipment you can get these from

wilges.marcio 9. July 2015 - 4:48

Architectural designs are very subjective in nature. I think every piece of art. Some will appreciate and some will not. Many removal specialists that I know would think that the cleaner it is, the better (but not everyone share my opinion). As we deal a lot of clutter, we like to see things organized and cleaner. Any removalist would share the same view, otherwise, we wouldn’t be doing our jobs well.