Düsseldorf looks back on more than 100 years of German history at a historic building: the exhibition “110 Years of Behrensbau” sheds light on the eventful chronicle of the Behrens Building on the banks of the Rhine, its alternating uses and its famous architect Peter Behrens, which is closely linked to the Mannesmann Group. German economic policy, art and architectural history intersect at this historic site, the latter of which has been significantly influenced by the builder, who is also regarded as an exemplary pioneer of modern industrial and graphic design. However, the exhibition not only focuses on the Behrensbau as a milestone in German architectural history, but also on the future of this unique building. As a contemporary history museum for the House of History of North Rhine-Westphalia, it addresses the democratic, cultural and educational potential of the Behrens Building.
A fundamental motive for gewerkdesign’s work on this project was the concern to design and realize an exhibition as efficiently as possible in terms of environmental compatibility.The construction principles of the preserved exhibition elements of the anniversary exhibition “OUR STATE. 75 Years of North Rhine-Westphalia”, which was designed by gewerkdesign and realized in the Behrensbau in 2021, enabled a resource-saving conversion and reuse for this exhibition. Modular substructures, demountable panel cladding, flexible showcase bases and large-scale dioramas could be adapted, reassembled, clad and furnished for this purpose.
Great emphasis was placed on energy conservation and the use of environmentally friendly materials. For example, the existing panels were used as graphic panels and covered with printed textile, while the physical didactics of the exhibition were designed to allow visitors to experience Behrend’s spatial concept by allowing daylight to illuminate the exhibition spaces, thus saving artificial lighting and energy. Applying principles such as multiple use, low material consumption in production, reusability of individual exhibition elements through minimal redesign, and a design approach that works with, rather than against, the existing architecture of Peter Behrens, the result is an exhibition that is highly sustainable, while creating an impressive exhibition experience visually and spatially.
Portfolio / Range of Services:
Basic evaluation, exhibition design, exhibition graphics, information graphics, dismantling and reconstruction planning, implementation planning, production management, participation in awarding contracts, construction management