Mercedes Benz Museum


The footprint of the Mercedes Benz Museum looks like a pretzel with three circles. Lifts in the naturally lit atrium in the centre of these circles take visitors up to the start of the exhibition. From there the visitor walks down hill, through the inner landscape of the building

across ramps, banks, slopes and valleys. He wanders through rooms bathed in daylight with bright ceilings creating a kind of “sky light”, and through dark, nocturnal scenes.

The light emphasises the feeling of entering the building like a landscape, across slopes, ramps, curved paths, undulating scenery. Sunlight alternates with diffuse, soft light from the sky or evening light.

UN-Studio designed logic surfaces for the New Mercedes Benz Museum. The shiny materials of the metal facade are taken into the outer rooms that receive natural daylight, and are continued within the building as shiny, varnished floors that fade into the walls and ceilings. Brilliant light reflexes in bright surroundings occur on the exhibited vehicles. Contrasting this, similar to bi-metal, the “rear sides” of these surfaces are matte, rough surfaces. They  virtually make the space disappear to let the exhibits shine. Light is precisely directed and staged.

Client: Daimler Chrysler Immobilien (DCI) GmbH
Architect: UN Studio, Amsterdam
Lighting Desig: Ulrike Brandi Licht
Completion: 2006