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Exploratorium Cologne


Carsten Herzig, architect

The idea to create a museum of technology for children has been worked out in San Francisco by Mr.Oppenheimer first. The design brief was to create a new type of museum where children can learn about all kind of science, electricity, physical phenomena, sound, music, light by playing.


The buildings site is isolated from the inner city directly at the bank of the river Rhine. The idea was to divide the museum in two separate parts. One part – the museum itself – should be on the river as a kind of swimming exhibit, and the other one which includes the administration rooms, theatre, library, employers’ apartments etc. should be elevated on the rivers bank as high as necessary to prevent high-water damage.


The swimming museum is fixed by two pylons. It adapts on the changes of the rivers water level. The different level inside the museum – above and underneath the water level – will give a contact to the specific environment of the museum and shows that the building itself gets a part of the museums exhibits. Inside the museums space are „bubbles“ for special demonstrations. All exhibits of the museum should be used and discovered through the childrens play.

Anker 1
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