Museum Ostwall: renovation
The Dortmunder U (DU) is a striking landmark building in Dortmund. It towers over Dortmund and inside as well, its size is overwhelming. The DU houses several institutions including the Museum Ostwall. After reinforcing the identity of the DU as a whole with a combination of interventions, Soda renovated the Museum Ostwall (located on the fourth and fifth floors) and the 1,200 m2 joint exhibition hall (sixth floor).
Soda's main goal was to restore the human scale in the spaces. This was achieved by literally disconnecting the DU's architecture from the museum and the Oberlicht hall. As a result, the museum functions have landed back in the building, so to speak. The human scale is now tangible and the construction of the building has also been made visible. Moreover, this approach has greatly enhanced the legibility of the building, improving its orientation.
The Museum Ostwall previously came across as rather boxy. This was mainly caused by the fact that all fixed walls were erected up to the very high ceilings. A shiny stone floor thereby reinforced the impersonal look. An important intervention is that throughout, Soda applied a matt, light-grey floor. This brings calmness and a pleasant atmosphere. In addition, all walls were drastically lowered by Soda and repositioned to a height of 3.60 metres. This eliminated the crampedness and created a completely different experience. Within the floor plan, Soda has set up core walls. These core walls, as well as all other walls, can be rearranged in case an exhibition requires it. Soda also relocated the entrance. Whereas people used to enter the museum in a corner on the fourth floor, the entrance is now positioned on the fifth floor in the middle of a long wall. This ensures that the museum is easy to find and also improved a linear routing within the museum itself.
More intimacy has furthermore been achieved by defining spaces in other ways: for example, by creating units using colour, rugs or furniture. In addition, the appearance of the furniture has been softened through rounding, upholstery and colour. Finally, all lighting has been adjusted. The result of these interventions is that the 'Oberlichtsaal' and the museum are comfortably 'back in place' in the Dortmunder U.