Studio Daniel Libeskind

Felix Nussbaum Haus

Osnabrück, Germany

Location

Heger-Tor-Wall 28
Osnabrück, Germany

Building size

18,900 sq.ft

Structure

Exposed reinforced concrete and aluminum with wood cladding

Architect of Record

Reinders & Partner

Structural Engineer

Watermann

Landscape Architect

Müller, Knippschild, Wehberg

Lighting Designer

Dinnebier Licht

Awards

Status

Completed

Completion Date

1998

Project Brief

The Felix Nussbaum Museum is an extension to the Cultural History Museum in Osnabrück, Germany, is dedicated to the work of Felix Nussbaum, the Jewish artist born in Osnabrück in 1904. Daniel Libeskind’s first completed building, the Museum displays Nussbaum’s paintings done prior to his extermination in Auschwitz, and houses a temporary exhibition space focusing on the themes of racism and intolerance. 

The building consists of three main components: the tall and narrow central Nussbaum corridor, the long main section, and the bridge, which acts as a connection to the old museum. In its pathways with their sudden breaks, unpredictable intersections and dead ends, the building structure reflects the life of Felix Nussbaum. Visitors enter Felix-Nussbaum-Haus at one end of the Nussbaum Corridor, whose concrete exterior is a blank canvas in itself. The constricted interior space evokes a visceral sense of how Nussbaum painted during his incarcerations — a space without a horizon which is necessary to understand Nussbaums’s oeuvre. As the corridor cuts through the building’s compressed geometry, backward and forward in time, the Nussbaum Corridor becomes a visual and kinetic embodiment of his life.

The building was completed in the summer of 1998 and was recognized by TIME Magazine with a Best of Design Award that year. In 2010 The Felix Nussbaum Museum commissioned Studio Daniel Libeskind to create an extension to the FNH to create additional space for to accommodate the museum’s educational events and lectures.  The extension opened in May 2011.

AWARD RECEIVED

1998 - The Best of 1998 Design Awards - TIME Magazine