Porsche Museum by Delugan Meissl

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Vienna architects Delugan Meissl have completed work on the new Porsche Museum in Stuttgart-Zuffenhausen, Germany.

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The museum will house around 80 chronologically-arranged vehicle exhibits and will be routinely replaced by other historical Porsches, as the majority of the exhibits can be driven on the road.

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The company's production and media archives will also be housed on-site, alongside a 3000-book library, shop, restaurant and conference facilities.

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The new museum officially opens on 31 January.

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Photos are courtesy of Nathan Willock.

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The following is from Porsche:

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The Idea

The successful record of Stuttgart’s sports-car manufacturer – Porsche is both the smallest independent German automaker and the world’s most profitable automaker – is based on decades of experience in automotive manufacturing and in motorsports. The history of Porsche sports cars begins in 1948 with the legendary Type 356 "No. 1,” but the conceptual basis of the brand is the result of the lifelong work of Professor Ferdinand Porsche (1875–1951), which was continued by his son Ferry (1909–1998).

By establishing an independent engineering office in Stuttgart in 1931, Ferdinand Porsche laid the foundations for the House of Porsche, and he made automotive history by pioneering developments for his client companies. During the past six decades, Porsche has experienced many high points as well as low ones. But thanks to efficient production methods, distinctive positioning of its brand, and innovative models such as the 356, 911, 914, 924, 944, 928, and the Boxster and the Cayenne, the former sports-car specialist has developed into one of the world's most successful automobile manufacturers.

This unique history is both an honor and an obligation. Porsche customers, shareholders, and Porsche fans had often expressed their wish for an inspiring place in which to display the corporate history, and in July 2004 Porsche’s Management Board responded by approving the construction of a new museum at Zuffenhausen’s Porscheplatz. Since October 2005, construction has been underway on a museum that will be an architectural emblem of the Porsche brand and make history as the most spectacular building project ever undertaken by the company. The elaborate new museum will be completed near the end of 2008 and will become the central repository where the Porsche tradition will be preserved and displayed.

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The Location

Auto fans around the world know that the traditional site of Porsche AG is in Stuttgart-Zuffenhausen. Seventy years ago the erstwhile Porsche engineering office relocated from downtown Stuttgart to the first, newly built Porsche plant in Zuffenhausen. This is where the trial series of what became the “VW Beetle” was built in 1938, as was the forefather of all Porsche sports cars, the Type 64 “Berlin–Rome Car,” in 1939.

In 1950 this Stuttgart suburb became the birthplace of the sports cars bearing the Porsche logo. Today, the 911 model series and all Porsche engines are produced in Zuffenhausen. And Porsche’s new museum will be located here, on Porscheplatz. At this historic location, it will join the Porsche plant and the Porsche Center as the new emblem of the company.

The Architecture

There’s no doubt about it, even now: the new edifice by Vienna’s Delugan Meissl is an eye-catcher. Although the building isn’t quite finished yet, the fascinating impact of the monolithic, virtually floating exhibition hall can already be felt. This bold and dynamic architecture reflects the company’s philosophy and provides a foretaste of the experience that awaits visitors to the future museum. It is designed to convey a sense of arrival and approachability, and to guide the visitors smoothly from the basement level into the superstructure.

In their design, the architects at Delugan Meissl set out to create a place of sensuous experience that reflects the authenticity of Porsche products and services as well as the company’s character, while also reshaping Porscheplatz with an unmistakable appearance.

The Exhibits

About 80 vehicles and many small exhibits will be on display at the new Porsche Museum in a unique ambience. In addition to world-famous, iconic vehicles such as the 356, 550, 911, and 917, the exhibits include some of the outstanding technical achievements of Professor Ferdinand Porsche from the early 20th century. Even then, the name of Porsche stood for the commitment never to be satisfied with a technical solution that fails to fully meet or exceed all of its requirements, including opportunities for further improvement.

From the lobby, visitors ascend a spectacular ramp to the entrance of the spacious exhibition area, where they can gain an initial overview of the impressive collection.

Here the visitor is free to choose whether to start chronologically with the company history before 1948, or to head directly into the main area of the exhibition, which contains a chronological history of Porsche products and thematic islands. Both areas are interlinked by the “Porsche Idea” section, which forms the backbone of the exhibition.

The Idea section explains what makes the various themes and exhibits so unique. It tells of the spirit and the passion that motivate the work at Porsche, and pays tribute to the company as well as the people behind the product.

Concept

The new museum enlightens the visitor in an impressive, clear, and interesting manner about the entire history of what is now Dr. Ing. h.c. F. Porsche AG. Production cars have been just as important to the name recognition of the Porsche brand as many vehicles designed specifically for racing. Porsche designs have had an impact on individual mobility even in the early years of motorization.

The exhibition layout provides separate exhibit areas for the two periods before and after 1948. “Porsche Idea,” "Product History,” and “Thematic Islands” are the three core elements of the museum concept. Visitors making their way through the exhibition will often find these three main elements thematically interlinked.

The “Porsche Idea“ section focuses on specific, trailblazing technical solutions for interesting challenges from nearly all areas of mobility. Visitors can learn about the values, motivation, and philosophy driving the company throughout its history and to its ultimate success.

The “Product History" section is a chronologically arranged presentation of the history of Porsche sports cars from its beginnings in 1948 to the latest models with all their technological diversity and stylistic individuality.

“Thematic Islands” focus on particular, especially important aspects of Porsche history. Some of them, like “Evolution 911,” are dedicated to specific model series. Others bring together vehicles from different eras, for example in the splendid motorsport history of “Le Mans.”

The Racing Cars

Unlike many other museums, the new Porsche Museum stands for joie de vivre and variety. It will continue to remain committed to the long-established philosophy of the “Museum on Wheels” and will utilize, enhance, and expand the newly assembled collection in Zuffenhausen.

Next year, for instance, the 550 A Spyder will participate in the Mille Miglia, and the 356 Carrera Abarth GT will travel all the way to Australia for the Classic Adelaide.

Instead of a conventional, static exhibition, newly arranged object combinations will create an ever-changing display that reflects the self-image of a company that incorporates both a great tradition and great innovations.

With the “Museum on Wheels” Porsche is taking a route no one else has traveled. Even the classic vehicles in the museum’s collection are serving the purpose for which they were built in the first place: driving!

The Porsche Archive

A central repository is being created in the new museum where all of the historical and contemporary knowledge about the subject “Porsche” is being consolidated. The historical archive of Porsche AG is also moving into the new edifice, where portions of it are visible through glass walls from the lobby.

As the company’s “memory,” the Porsche Archive collects all important information concerning business, technical, social, or cultural matters relating to Porsche AG and its subsidiary companies. The archived items include anything worth saving about the unparalleled Porsche success story, from the beginnings of Ferdinand Porsche as an automobile designer to the engineering office established in 1931 all the way to today’s Porsche AG. The present files of the Porsche Archive cover 2,000 meters of shelf space, including bookshelves, display cases, steel cabinets, and safes.

The Historical Archive with its accumulated knowledge is available not only to internal departments but also to external users, such as journalists and scientists. Many thousands of inquiries annually are handled here in a professional manner by the Porsche archivists.

More automotive museum stories on Dezeen:

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BMW Museum by Atelier Brückner

| 30 comments

Posted on Sunday, February 1st, 2009 at 8:07 pm by Rob Ong. See our copyright policy. Before commenting, please read our comments policy.

  • http://www.danielbrowns.com Daniel Brown

    When it comes time to pack up all of Earth’s buildings to move them to another planet and escape global warming, these odd-shaped museum types are going to be a real nightmare… will require a lot of newspaper to pad them…

  • http://www.soulofautumn87.deviantART.com Soul Of Autumn

    looks really weird :/ the interiors are still a mystery… and the exterior is rather dull

  • m

    … I think I’m getting tired of these perfectly built flying sketch-up blocks some time very soon …

  • http://allvishal.com/journal allVishal

    At least it doesn’t look like a 911!

  • modular

    That looks like a lame rippoff of ‘Casa da Musica’ by Rem Koolhaas.

    > http://www.mimoa.eu/images/1026_l.jpg

    > http://www.underconsideration.com/brandnew/archives/casadamusica_arch.jpg

  • builder

    too many cooks ….. very confused and un-clear…wannabefancy

  • b_s_k

    fantastic!!!

  • birdie

    this will always be second best, if we consider mercedes museum which is few hundred metres from this one. anyway cheap uninteresting pop-post-modern solution, i think porsche could have done better (chosen more suitable architectural solution)

  • http://- K.Han

    I don’t like the main entrance but I absolutely love this building!

  • münte

    i love it :)

  • malte

    So, wannabe-haters are still hating ?
    i think the 2. pic gives you an image of what you are dealing with…. this is really remarkable architecture….of course slick, smooth, fancy and easy to compare with the benz museum in the same city,
    but better that, than this huge line of exchangeable cubes with fairfaced concrete facades, which think that they inveted the wheel again.

  • Bart

    They were lucky there was some snow.

  • http://- mr O

    Porsche used to be about elegance, austerity and a very balanced blend of deluxe and racing technology. One could smell the rich and warm history of heroes battling it out in Le Mans while getting seated in a 911. I do have fond childhood memories when my dad drove us to all corners of Europe.

    There’s none of that in their current car offer, not mentioning the interior design of their cars which is an utter ergonomic disaster :(

    So, this me-too museum does illustrate Porsche’s current filosophy quite well: very juvenile with a lot of clutter :(

  • pop

    i love the modesty of Delugan meissl…..nice project… its a fine mixture of Hadid and himmelblau.

    in such a context its definitely a joy to the eye and soul.

  • OP

    Nah, you people don’t know shit. This is clean, sober, elegant and beautiful. As mentioned above, the second picture really shows how nice this is.

    And if you think this is in any way similar to Casa da Musica, you need new glasses.

  • m

    @malte

    the big difference between the mercedes builing and the porche museum seems to be the approach to architecture. The mercedes building is built from the inside to the outside – it’s based on a very inventive routing scheme that results in a series of very well working spaces and a flowing configuration. The architecture therefore is based on the formalistic quality of it’s cleverness. Though this in my view resulted in a building with a bit fatty outside proportions, for me it is one of the most interesting architectural works of the last decade.

    The porche museum, from what we get to see from it, seems to be designed from the outside to the inside. Though surely impressive for it’s size, perfection and form, it is architecturally seen not much more then a variation on a model (‘the monolith’ – or actually ‘the monolith that defies gravity’) that has been around for more then 10 years and has been especially dominant in museum design and in competition design (party for the fact that it’s the fastest was to make a fancy and remarkable entry).

    To be short – it seems formalistic. Which in itself doesnt have to be a bad thing … but it is formalistic in a way that sais more about the last decade as it sais about the next

  • Rory

    modular, i dont know if anyone has said this yet, but your comment is pure ignorance and a huge generalization

  • Dug Hoffmann

    The museum is fantastic. I recently found a german website with a video which gives you a quite good impression how shape changes inside. The space inside is not really big, but interesting bigger than from outside. axles the Although it is only in german language I found it worth watching.
    Have fun: http://www.classic-moto-guide.com/oldtimer/DE/news/index.php?Seite=113
    Dug

  • croftdesign

    modular Says:

    “That looks like a lame rippoff of ‘Casa da Musica’ by Rem Koolhaas.”

    You’re giving Rem too much credit. They are completely two different buildings, in form and function. The floating porsche museum doesn’t share the same architectonics as Rem’s sitting form. So neither one have many right angles, doesn’t mean one is a rip-off of the other.

    This porsche museum is elegant and powerful, akin to the car.

  • simonsez

    for me, this is the worst museum I visited the last years. yesterday I was there.
    The entrance is small, the “stairway to heaven” to the exhibition is boring, the showroom was sometimes ok but not more, I am still very dissapointed and frustrated. so after half an hour I left, sorry to say it.

    I know everybody talks about concepts, the concepts was exactly this, small entrance, ……. and they reached it, because they build it…..
    but WHY?WHY? I dont understand it.
    why didnt someone say STOP! LETS RETHINK THE DESIGN AND APPROVE IT!! They had the big chance and they didnt use it.thats very sad.

    the architects aim should be to build nice and powerfull rooms. I didnt find it here. for me its a dispensible building.
    Its no architecture, maybe its design?
    but I stop now.This is my opinion and I didnt want to insult anybody.
    so enjoy the building if you can. I wish I could.

  • William Smith

    When is this pretentious kind of design going to end?

  • Dan

    Come on …of corse is not something incredible and probably we will not speck about this museum for the theoretical and innovative approach at university…. but who is aspecting this from DMAA ??

    They are working in own way… whithout to be in a “architecture star system”, they are small and modest, but whitin a deep feelings of space.
    The museum is smart fine and white sculpture related whit a dynamic space…exactly how they want.

    good job.

  • http://www.bsmgroup.co.za BMS Group

    This building is fantastic.

  • yrag

    It’s trying very hard to make a statement, but I find it more oppressive than impressive.

  • ldl1

    I’m convinced that the attitudes for boxy-but-good have found near-immovable legitimacy from the economy. This is strange as parallel, lined-up things are not always cheaper/ethically better than warped things.

    It’s a slightly cheap or easy shot to say that structural intelligence bespeaks a flamboyance of design that can only be detrimental to sustainability or whatever it is that masquerades for a new puritanism. Just as pleasure is not the absence of pain (Burke) – they do not lie on the same line – wild form does not have to be pitted against tame form.

    I haven’t been inside the building, and perhaps it is terrible with a small entrance, but I won’t say that a Chipperfield box is better.

  • http://NA Pierre Sinsua

    i can only spot one porsche and its a 911. building is amazing and as if gravity is taken out of the equation.

  • http://NA Pierre Sinsua

    i say the edge concept fits perfectly with porsche cars. the contra effect would make the famously organic and round vehicles they tend to product stand out from the edges

  • Mike Mecanics

    Olá. Acho que é uma presa fácil para criticar…
    A ideia, o tempo de projecto parece ser grandioso, acaba construído parece altamente desenraízado. Um objecto, monstruoso, caríssimo que se pretendia elegante, atraente, … mais um guggenheim de bilbao fracassado.

    Hello. I think it’s is a esay prisioner to critic…
    The idea, the time of the project make us wonder of something really “big”, when it ends, it’s completely out of context. A monstrous object, very expensive, which ment to be elegant and attractive…I could say that is another guggenheim Bilbao who failed is intents.

    I’m with simonsez “so enjoy the building if you can. I wish I could.”..there are too many like this nowadays

  • ketan w

    i m an architect
    doin thesis on vintahe and classic car museum

  • lex

    This architecture has to be viewed in reality to be appreciated, its bold perspectives translates Porsches design philosophy into architecture. effectively. cleary the building eludes passion and power.

    its unconventional form is not hard for many to absorb, just like hadids work, they are masterpeices but are often not appreciated by most.

    i must say the interior spaces look amazing and the details are astounding.

    cheers

    UN studios Merc museum close by is also very impresssive. but kudos to Delugan Meissl for a wnderful peice of bold architecture.