The museum for the Frieder Burda collection of twentieth-century art has been designed to blend into the landscape of the Lichtentaler Allee Park and, at the same time, to harmonize with the classical profile of the adjacent Kunsthalle. The overall form and proportions of the new building correspond to the elevated plinth and entablature of the Kunsthalle, but each institution maintains its own tectonic identity.
Nestled amid the majestic trees of the park, the new three-story museum is accessed from a main portico facing east. At the second floor a glazed bridge links the building to the plinth of the Kunsthalle. This bridge has been delicately detailed so as to intrude as little as possible on the character of the existing museum.
Upon entry, visitors turn right through the lobby/reception area to arrive at a transverse four-story ramp-hall set on axis with the bridge link to the Kunsthalle one floor above. Together with an adjacent elevator, this primary means of vertical circulation affords access to a second major gallery suspended above the ground-floor gallery and also to auxiliary exhibition volumes on both the lower ground floor and on mezzanine levels overlooking the entry.
The main upper exhibition volume extends across the full width of the building, thus giving the impression that the gallery is floating. It is accessed by the ramp hall via a bridge that allows for views back to the surrounding park or to the lower level. The recessed floor plate of the upper gallery and the bounding walls of the lower gallery enable natural light to penetrate to the lower level.