Renovation of the Kunsthalle Bielefeld

Caruso St John Architects have been appointed

Five people stand in a row in front of the Kunsthalle Bielefeld. They look cheerful.
f.l.t.r. Pit Clausen, Lord Mayor of the City of Bielefeld, Christine Harodt, Technical Operations Manager, Immobilienservicebetrieb Bielefeld, Adam Caruso, Caruso St John Architects, Christina Végh, Director Kunsthalle Bielefeld, Dr. Udo Witthaus, Councillor of the "School, Citizens, Culture, Sport" Department of the City of Bielefeld

Caruso St John have been appointed architects for the renovation of the Kunsthalle Bielefeld

The heritage-protected architectural icon of the Kunsthalle Bielefeld from the 1960s needs to be energetically renovated and future-proofed. The goal is to implement a package of measures that leverages the unique, historic spaces and allows for forward-looking museum work.

By means of an extension and restructuring, the historic spatial program is to be brought into the 21st century. To enable contemporary museum work in the future, functional deficiencies must be addressed. Currently, all central areas (exhibition, education, storage, logistics, and administration) are affected by acute space shortages. To present contemporary art forms and enable a modern approach within the museum, new spaces must be created in addition to optimizing the existing building, as these cannot be accommodated within the historical structure.

Since the 1960s, the demands on museum work have significantly changed. The goal of these measures is to respond to and actively shape these diverse changes in society, art, and climate, by ensuring the Kunsthalle remains an effective anchor point for many in the city and beyond. This requires technical and spatial adjustments to contemporary museum standards and the creation of informal spaces that allow for a relaxed visit, even independently of the exhibitions.

To promote the development of the museum, an additional exhibition unit must be established. This will make it possible to present younger art forms (installation, multimedia, large formats) and contribute to a more sustainable handling of the museum’s own collection, which can be shown more extensively and for longer periods in the future. Additionally, the new unit will allow the museum to remain open year-round. All areas of the museum will benefit from this, including visitor numbers, cooperation with educational institutions, service offerings (gastronomy, shop, library), and ultimately the strengthening of the museum as a “third place” for the urban community.

A better urban planning integration, placing the architectural icon in its urban context as intended by the architect and including the mobility transition, is also an aim of the measures. Only through comprehensive renovation work and the implementation of new spatial functions can the Kunsthalle be preserved as a cultural beacon for the region.

We are convinced that the office brings the ideal prerequisites to make our remarkable house functional for the 21st century.