Goetz Collection

Oberföhringer Straße 103
81925 Munich

Tel. +49 (0)89 9593969-0
Fax. +49 (0)89 9593969-69


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Größere Kartenansicht

Take the Subway U4 to "Richard-Strauss-Straße". Change here for bus # 188 (direction Unterföhring, Fichtenstraße) to bus stop "Bürgerpark Oberföhring".

Take the streetcar # 16 or # 18, or bus # 54 or # 154 to "Herkomerplatz". Change here for bus # 188 (direction Unterföhring, Fichtenstraße) to bus stop "Bürgerpark Oberföhring".

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Gallery Building
Informations about architecture

Herzog & de Meuron

Gallery for a Private Collection of Modern Art
Sammlung Goetz
Project 1989/90
Construction 1991/92

The gallery housing Ingvild Goetz’s private collection of art from the 1960s to the present day stands in a park-like setting surrounded by a fence. It looks like a solitaire and slots unselfconsciously between the many birch trees and conifers, yet still remains alien.
Building regulations for the residential area restricted the height and footprint of the building, which made it necessary/meant that the only alternative was to construct a basement level to provide the required exhibition space. Herzog & de Meuron based their design on this restriction. The first step was to deliberately avoid the traditional solution of putting video art and drawings down in the basement, and to aim instead at achieving equal spatial quality on both exhibition levels. The conventional hierarchy of rooms is turned about/has been turned on its head. Attempts with classic overhead lighting, as seen in the early sketches, were soon abandoned, and the main, exhibition hall, usually with skylight, which is the focus of many galleries, was placed in the basement. In the upper storey are three smaller exhibition rooms. Glare-free daylight is evenly distributed through the strip of frosted glass at the top of the 4 to 5.5-meter-high walls of uncoated plaster. From inside the rooms the visitor can no longer be sure which floor he is on.

The interior’s amazing concentration of simple spatial volumes is reminiscent of the central pool in the hall of Pfaffenholz Sports Center. It was made possible by building the complex infrastructure in adjoining spaces below ground level, an idea which was repeated again in 1995 to provide additional space for storage. It is also due, however, to the simplicity of the construction: at garden level, on top of a concrete block lowered into the ground are two reinforced-concrete tubes on which rests a timber configuration, similar to the administration floors of the entrance block to the railway engine depot. Nevertheless, from the outside, the building has a somewhat mysterious quality. The supporting function of the two U-shaped concrete wedges to be seen in the library and entrance zone, as well as a room for technical installations is not immediately obvious; the high wooden section seems to hover above the glass windows surrounding the ground floor. From outside it seems as if we are looking into a pool, and anyone who enters the building seems to step into the light. Glass, as in the roof lights of a railway engine depot, can have a physical quality when accented differently. The supporting elements and the light seem to melt into one another. The function of the building's outer layer imperceptibly changes: while the glass forms a visual surface, the plywood panels of the wooden box are brought into the game of physical forces as a a structural element, a technique which was also used for a plywood house in a park-like setting near Basel.
In all, this gallery building presents a baffling array of impressions thanks to the precisely worked variations on the modules used for the basic structure and the façade. Essentially, this simple, symmetrical container with its skin of changing but related materials (matt glass, birchwood, unfinished aluminum) is a wooden box, raised in a park on two U-shaped wedges; it is a volume hovering between two glass strips; a sequence of strips of concrete, glass, wood, glass, the sum of two volumes placed one on top of the other. This densely packed design brings together many aspects of Herzog & de Meuron's architecture, and similarities can be drawn between it and many other projects, even including the fractal Elsässertor building.

© Gerhard Mack, Herzog & de Meuron 1989-1991: Das Gesamtwerk Band 2, Birkhäuser Verlag, Basel 1996. p. 73

Passionate Infidelity

Making architecture superfluous, making it disappear from our consciousness, turning to something else: when town becomes like nature. It needs no further invention. It can no longer be expanded. It is everywhere. It can no longer be copied, because it has copied itself to an end. Entropy of architecture.
What is the architecture we seek, the architecture we move towards? The architecture that drives us, pushes us forward, that wants to be discovered, to be brought out from the seclusion of our architectural consciousness, or rather sub-consciousness? The architecture that pushes towards the light like an insect, and, when there, fulfils its inescapable fate?
But why this particular architecture, although there are endless other possibilities? The architecture we fight for, the one we seek to define, or to have defined by critic friends, those whom we browbeat or those who volunteer, so that this defined architecture can be defended and consolidated against other positions in the inexhaustible quantity of other forms, other bodies, other surfaces, other structural designs and levels of transparency.
The architecture we think, draw, imagine, describe, the architecture we photograph and capture on video, the one we define as correct, more correct, or at least more important than other, older or contemporary architectures; the architecture we love, or at least during one phase of our lives loved, the architecture we pursued, the one we accompany with the entire energy of our perception, day and night, into which we enter, physically and mentally. Without us, it does not exist and without it, we do not exist.
The architecture that draws us like a magnetic field. And we, who after all create this electromagnetic field for our projects? This projection surface, this plane of intersection, the ‘almost identity’ of the architecture and the architect. And we thus create this tension and are subject to it, despite years of professional experience, despite indifference, despite an unemotional demeanor? The architectonic project is, as the name says, a projection, an intellectual thought-projection from body to body.
Architecture is the extension of the body of the architect into a new, projected outward form. It is a kind of reproduction, a copy or rather an expression of the entire sensory experience of the architect. In this it is like a film made by a filmmaker or the picture by a painter, or the song of a musician. It is the physical and sensory presence of the film in the cinema and the sound from the loudspeaker (and not any biographical or entertaining component) that fascinates us, that moves us, that enables us to encounter our own physical presence.
This architecture – created by us, bound up with our lives – would therefore be a physical part of ourselves? Of our constantly planning, ever projecting selves who will soon turn away from it to new projects, unfaithfully, mercilessly, who will excuse themselves, move away from them, rejecting them like a burned out rocket stage.
And the architecture? For its part it moves away from us, its ownership long since transferred, perhaps useful and usable as a capital investment, certainly, however, having a communication value for others, notable through its own being, released from the accidental nature of our lives. It stands there, as if it created by itself, without the laughable particularity of an author, without his mark, without fingerprints or sweat stains or even injuries, such as those caused by an unsuccessful forceps delivery. The architecture is understood only by means of itself, with no aids to understanding, capable of being produced only out of architecture, not out of anecdotes or quotes or functional processes. Architecture is its own substantiality in its location.

© Jacques Herzog and Pierre de Meuron, 1990