© Jan Bitter

The architecture exhibition curated for the Akademie der Künste (Academy of Arts) by Matthias Sauerbruch and designed by Sauerbruch Hutton had, to put it simply, the rise and fall of the Bilbao effect as its theme. A panorama consisting of 37 international case studies critically examined the relationships between cultural initiatives, architectural interventions, city marketing in times of structural change and questions of urbanity.

The exhibition concept was based in the first place on the presentation of models as physical renditions of the built or projected reality. A wealth of additional information and background details was made available on tablets that were handed to all the visitors. They could then choose among plans, photographs, in-depth descriptions, an audio tour given by the curator and seventeen films d’auteur that had been constructed around individual architectural projects. Consequently, three distinct perspectives were given expression in the exhibition space: that of the authors, that of the curator and that of the interpretive filmmakers.

The tranquillity of the exhibition space itself – which was limited to the presentation of models, together with easily movable chairs and the user-friendly app – enabled the visitors to forge their own ways through the abundance of information and to develop a fourth perspective: their own.


  • Exhibition design for a mixed media group show


  • Akademie der Künste, Berlin


  • gross floor area: 1.500 m²
  • 2013

project team