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Driven by Innovation: Stuttgart, Germany's Mercedes-Benz...

Driven by Innovation: Stuttgart, Germany's Mercedes-Benz Museum

Conceptualized after the double helix, the Mercedes-Benz Museum’s inimitable design, in Stuttgart, Germany, represents the 125-year evolutionary process of the automobile. The DNA that has driven the evolution, since its invention in 1886, is exemplified in the architectural design of the Mercedes-Benz Museum.   The Mercedes-Benz Museum was designed by UNStudio, a Dutch architectural firm

Aluminum and glass exterior of Mercedes Benz Museum located in Benzviertel, Stuttgart, Germany Photo by Wojtek Gurak

Conceptualized after the double helix, the Mercedes-Benz Museum’s inimitable design, in Stuttgart, Germany, represents the 125-year evolutionary process of the automobile. The DNA that has driven the evolution, since its invention in 1886, is exemplified in the architectural design of the Mercedes-Benz Museum.  

The Mercedes-Benz Museum was designed by UNStudio, a Dutch architectural firm whose “initial outline sketch depicted an apparently simple geometric figure consisting of three loops turning endlessly back into themselves.” The geometric model first drafted was based on a trefoil organization.

According to Ben van Berkel, joint founder and director of UNStudio, “The Mercedes‑Benz Museum sets up an interface for a series of radical spatial principles in order to create a completely new typology” -- and indeed it does.  

There are no right-angles in the Mercedes-Benz Museum; all walls and ceilings, ramps and columns are arched or turn in on themselves. In other words, there are no closed rooms or straight walls within the entire structure.

Hallway view of the triangular shaped window panes of the Mercedes Benz Museum in Benzviertel, Stuttgart, Germany Photo by Wojtek Gurak

The building's height and contemporary interior were calculated to maximize space, providing 16,500 square meters (178,000 sq. ft.) of exhibition space on a footprint of just 4,800 square meters (52,000 sq. ft.). Along with that, not one of the 1,800 triangular window panes are alike.

In addition to the UNStudio, Mercedes-Benz commissioned HG Merz, a German architect and museum designer. He helped further develop the geometric design by incorporating the Mercedes-Benz’s inseparable link between tradition and innovation – ultimately bringing insight into the future of the auto industry.

The museum experience begins when guests travel up through the atrium in an ultramodern elevator to the top floor. From there guests follow the two main paths that unfold the chronological history of the Mercedes-Benz brand.   

The two main trajectories showcase more than 160 different automobiles dating from 1900 to contemporary culture, with over 1,500 exhibits. One path focuses on the Mercedes-Benz car and truck collection and the other consists of historical displays that are held in so-called Legend rooms. Both paths spiral downwards on the perimeter of the display platforms, intersecting with each other at several points - allowing the visitor to change routes if desired.

Classic Mercedes Benz cars on elevated display platforms for visitors to gaze at inside the Mercedes Benz Museum in Benzviertel, Stuttgart, Germany Photo by Wojtek Gurak

This landmark museum celebrates the legendary car brand by not only telling its history in the interior, but by utilizing aluminum and glass on the exterior; materials that are also greatly used in the automotive industry. The Mercedes-Benz Museum truly illustrates the brand’s philosophy – to continuously create radically new products to advance the cause of human mobility.

The Mercedes-Benz Museum and the Porsche Museum (which is also based in Stuttgart) decided to swap two classic cars this past August, and are providing a great deal for visitors. Guests will have the privilege of seeing a 1966 Mercedes-Benz W111 230S on display in front of the Porsche Museum in Zuffenhausen, and the Mercedes-Benz Museum in Bad Cannstatt will have a 1975 911 Carrera 2.7 on exhibit from Porsche.

This car swap is promoting a special deal for visitors in seeing both German automotive museums. The Mercedes-Benz Museum and the Porsche-Museum are launching a new offer: until December 30, 2016, visitors presenting an entrance ticket to one of the museums will get 25% off the regular ticket price of €8 (making €6) or on the concessionary price of €4 (making €3). The Mercedes-Benz Museum boasts in knowing that they are the only museum in the world that documents in a single continuous timeline the 130 years of auto industry history - from its pioneering beginnings to the present day.

Is there an automotive museum that has earned distinction in your city? What automotive museums have you visited? Share your thoughts and your city's stories in the comments area below.

Credits: All Images by Wojtek Gurak is licensed under CC BY 2.0. Data linked to sources.

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