© Jan Bitter

This comprehensive retrospective covered a broad selection of work by Sauerbruch Hutton from the previous fifteen years. It was presented in four sections: besides an overview of the work of recent years and a detailed presentation of the design of the Brandhorst Museum, the exhibition incorporated a filmed interview by Ute Adamczewski and a cabinet exhibition of photographic works by Ola Kolehmainen. This division into four chapters made it possible to approach the body of work from different angles and to present it in a variety of media that ranged from early design sketches to photographs of the completed building. This gave the visitor not only a nuanced insight into Sauerbruch Hutton’s work but also an understanding of the methods and mechanisms of architectural planning and design.

At the end of the exhibition, a panoramic window allowed visitors to view the progress of construction work on the adjacent Brandhorst Museum, thereby broadening the discourse to include the unpredictable aspects of architecture in practice.

1. Form: Models, texts, drawings and diagrams explained the morphogenesis of fourteen buildings: how their sculptural qualities reflect a deliberate balance between the buildings’ interior organisation and their external response to the urban context, and how they become urban condensers.

2. Content: Ute Adamczewski’s video installation featured views of buildings and a conversation between Aaron Betsky, Louisa Hutton and Matthias Sauerbruch conveying the ideas behind the architecture. These were juxtaposed with statements by the occupants of finished projects. Architecture is thus portrayed as a dense web of varying interpretations and relationships.

3. Surface: In Ola Kolehmainen’s large-scale photographic works a particular aspect of our buildings emerges, which we call chromotope: a place that is endowed with a unique spatial quality by the application of colour. It may arise from the oscillation between actual and apparent two- or three-dimensionality, when bodily, visual and tactile perceptions compete with each other.

4. Means: The Brandhorst Museum was presented as a case study in the creative application of technology. The innovations introduced by Sauerbruch Hutton do not submit to the fetish of the feasible but aim to provide surprising illustrations of the intelligent and appropriate use of the available resources. While technology is a fundamental part of construction, sustainability only comes into play with the integration of all architectural aspects.


  • Exhibition covering 15 years of design practice at Sauerbruch Hutton


  • Stiftung Pinakothek der Moderne


  • 2006