The Schiller National Museum, designed by the architects Ludwig Eisenlohr and
Carl Weigle, was completed in 1903 and expanded in 1934 by the city master builder
Keim. It is situated on the hills overlooking the Neckar valley and forms an ensemble
of buildings together with the German Literature Archive, built in the 1970s, and the
Museum of Modern Literature, completed by David Chipperfield Architects in 2006. A
registered landmark, the building plays a special architectural role in the group, with
its functional and typological overlapping of museum, memorial, archive and library.
Dedicated to honouring the memory of Friedrich Schiller, the building stylistically
reflects the classical period. Free from war damage and in continuous use since its
completion, the historic substance is conserved in several main parts of the building.
The interior modernisation includes the exhibition rooms on the main floor as
well as the rooms at the lower level. The attic had already been rebuilt during the
modernisation of the roof, the facade and the windows several years previously. The
exhibition rooms on the main floor, which were last redesigned in the 1970s, have
been brought up to date in terms of technical facilities for the presentation of original
exhibits. To better reflect the existing structural conditions of the building, the carpet
was removed and replaced with coloured linoleum. Keeping in mind the original
surviving building parts, the rooms were repainted and now present a succession
of rooms in the style typical of the Weimar classic period. The largely conserved
axis of the house with the vestibule, stairwell and Schiller hall form the heart of the
museum. During restoration the white emulsion paint covering the stuccoed walls
and ceiling was carefully removed and the exposed remains of the polychrome layer
were carefully touched up.
The garden room, the central room on the lower level, will be used as a museum café.
The rooms in the wings were rebuilt to supplement the in-house building services and
infrastructure, and include a continuous passage to the German Literature Archive
and the Museum of Modern Literature.
Client : Deutsche Schillergesellschaft e.V.
Architect: David Chipperfield Architects
Structural engineer : Ingeniergruppe Bauen, Karlsruhe
Services engineer : Jaeger Mornhinweg + Partner Ingenieurgesellschaft Stuttgart, Ibb Burrer + Deuring
Ingenieurbüro GmbH, Ludwigsburg
Project management : Mathias Weccard, Freier Architekt, Marbach
Photography : Ute Zscharnt for David Chipperfield Architects