موزه کلومبا - آلمان - نویسنده : مسعود جوادی - آرشیتکت

موزه کلومبا

مهندس معمار : Atelier Peter Zumthor

مکان پروژه : کالقنی - آلمان

Author: Masoud Javadi - Architect

Kolumba Museum
Atelier Peter Zumthor

Cologne, Germany

Kolumba-Museum-21-Zumthor-Yuri-Palmin.jpgKolumba Museum. Photo by Yuri Palmin

By Jakob Harry Hybel

Built on the ruins of the Gothic Church of Saint Kolumba in the old center of Cologne, not far from the city's spectacular cathedral, Swiss master architect Peter Zumthor's Kolumba Museum stands as an equally uplifting and melancholic testament to the glorious and the bleak chapters of the city's past.

Ask any architect about Peter Zumthor and you will most likely see them get weak in the knees, or at the very least laden with envy. He embodies an almost wizardly wisdom and uncompromising integrity. A notorious perfectionist, Zumthor allows no part of his buildings to be arbitrary or obsolete. But he is no minimalist. Rather, like the old bauhaus masters that schooled him, he believes in the old ways - in the architect as a craftsman. This has earned Zumthor both the status of being the ultimate architect's architect and also, not surprisingly, a client's nightmare.

Most of his works can be found at highly reclusive sites, ordinarily in his native Switzerland. So in this respect, the Kolumba Museum has to be Zumthor's most accessible building, as it does not require a major pilgrimage to visit.

Kolumba Museum. Layers of history at show. Photo by Yuri Palmin

Contextual Complexity

Throughout the history of Cologne, since the earliest Roman settlements, churches have stood on this site. In medieval times, when the Saint Kolumba parish was Cologne's largest and most dominant the splendid Kolumba Church was built to properly demonstrate the power of the parish. It stood until 1943, where the site was tragically demolished - along with the rest of the city - by the allied air strike.  Since then, the ruins were largely left untouched, with the exception of a small octogonal chapel built in 1949 by local architect Gottfried Böhm in rememberance.

It could seem like an impossible task to reconcile these many layers of history, but Zumthor appeared to see it more like a challenge, and he has intelligently managed to add to the architectural continuum, while keeping and embracing the pre-existing fragments.

Kolumba Museum. Exterior view. Photo by Yuri Palmin

Kolumba-Museum-2-Zumthor-Jörn-Schiemann.jpgKolumba Museum. Interior view. Photo by Jörn Schiemann  

A Mysterious, Timeless Space

The building does not reveal a lot from the outside. Apart from a series of holes puncturing the facades halfway up and some large, square windows, it appears to be a closed box of slender and neatly aligned light grey bricks. But entering from the foyer through heavy leather curtains into the main room of the museum's lower level, everything falls into place.

The walls are windowless apart from the perforations lining the top, casting filtered light into the double height room. A zigzagging pathway guides you through the archaeological excavations between slim concrete columns pinning up the ceiling.

As you stand amidst the room with all layers of history exposed, protected by the outer walls that gently wraps everything together, there is a serene calmness and odd timelessness.

Following the pathway will lead you to a small ceilingless atrium where Richard Serra's sculpture The Drowned and the Saved (Die Verschwundenen und Gerettete) is placed on top of a crypt containing mortal remains found during the excavations. It is a fitting end to the narrative of the site and its past, almost like a punctuation mark.

Kolumba Museum. The highly distinctive narrow staircase pressed between two concrete walls. Even the handrail is designed by Zumthor. Photo by Yuri Palmin

A Museum Like No Other

Back at the foyer, a narrow staircase takes you upstairs to the art exhibit, where the collection of the Archdiocese, who commissioned the museum, is at show. Here, the exhibition rooms are subdued in color and scale with white concrete walls and polished floors. The only abruption comes in the form of the large window sections that beautifully frames selected views of the city.

Here it becomes very clear - if there was at a point any doubt - that Kolumba is no ordinary museum. Icons and religious statues are standing shoulder to shoulder with contemporary art installations - and as if this is not confusing in itself, the visitors are left completely to their own devices, as there is no accompanying text to be found.

This must have posed a considerable challenge to the museum's curators, but they have skillfully managed to draw thematic lines throughout the exhibit - and in doing so, they offer new perspectives on the way we are accustomed to looking at art, it challenges the sometimes narrow scope of our frame of reference.

Zumthor, an outspoken opposer of the so-called Bilbao effect, the notion that a museum should be a marketing instrument to brand either the city or the architect (or both), chose to work on this project because of its apparent refusal to adhere to the trends of today's museum world. As he said at the museum opening:

[Here] you feel that the project was started from the inside, from the art and from the place.

Indeed it does. You feel the desire shared between client and architect to create something unique, something more than the museum itself. A place that speaks to all the senses. A place as evocative as it is intellectually and physically stimulating.

Kolumba-Museum-3-Zumthor-Jörn-Schiemann.jpgKolumba Museum. Hand-sown silk curtains. Photo by Jörn Schiemann  

Kolumba Museum. Exhibition space. Photo by Yuri Palmin

Kolumba Museum. Open courtyard with Swiss sculptor Hans Josephsohn's Reclining Figure (Große Liegende). Photo by Marina López Salas

Kolumba Museum. The luminescent light grey bricks were designed especially for the Kolumba by Danish brick manufacturer, Petersen Tegl. Photo by Marina López Salas

Kolumba Museum. Photo by Marina López Salas

Kolumba Museum. Photo by Marina López Salas

Kolumba Museum. Window detail. Photo by Marina López Salas

Kolumba Museum. Back-side exterior staircase. Photo by Yuri Palmin

Kolumba Museum. Entrance. Photo by Yuri Palmin

Facts about Kolumba Museum




Archdiocese Ordinariate of Cologne


43.4 million euros

Exhibition space:

1,750 m2 (17 rooms)

Archbishop's Building Department:

Johannes Hogenschurz

Museum Team:

Joachim M. Plotzek
Katharina Winnekes
Ulrike Surmann
Stefan Kraus
Marc Steinmann


Peter Zumthor, CH - Haldenstein

Project Leader:

Rainer Weitschies, Atelier Zumthor

Project Supervision:

Atelier Zumthor
Stein Architekten, Köln

Construction Supervision:

Jürg Buchli, Haldenstein
Ottmar Schwab/ Reiner Lemke, Köln


Gerhard Kahlert, Haltern-Hullern


H.W. Pütz, Niederkassel-Rheidt

Landmark conservation:

Rheinisches Amt für Denkmalpflege
Stadtkonservator Köln

Archaeological conservation:

Römisch-Germanisches-Museum, Köln

Geothermal drilling:

Geopower Bohrgesellschaft, Neuss


Heinrich Quirrenbach, Lindlar

Handrails, staircases:

Nagel Metallbau, Wesseling

Wood paving work:

Klaus Altenrath, Overath

Boardwalk (excavation):

Hess Wohnwerk, Kleinheubach


Petersen Tegl, DK - Egernsund

Air conditioning:

Berns Gebäudetechnik, Kleve


Zumtobel Staff, Düsseldorf

Furniture and lamps:

Therme Laden, Vals

Silk curtains: 

Koho Mori-Newton, Tübingen
Frank Henseler, Köln (sewing)

 Write by : Masoud javadi - Architect engineer

مطالب مشابه :


طرح الماس پرداخت تسهیلات تا ۱.۲۰۰.۰۰۰.۰۰۰ ریال. حداقل نرخ تسهیلات ۱۴ ٪ حداکثر مدت باز پرداخت

شرایط جدید طرح های صالحین یک و طلوع و الماس

شرایط جدید طرح های صالحین یک و طلوع و الماس از روز شنبه مورخه ۲۱ آبان ۱۳۹۰قابل اجرا در تمامی

پاسخ به سوالات خوانندگان

سلام آقا به محسن از اهواز ! در طرح الماس به ازاي هر ماه سپرده گذاري قسط براي مشتري تعلق مي گيره .

الماسي براي فريب(محمد رضا مدحي)

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