Museum Brandhorst houses an abundance of technology that remains hidden to our guests. The delicate artworks in the Brandhorst collection have to be protected from climatic fluctuations and dust, as well as from mechanical damage or theft. Indoor climate control, air purity, protection from unduly light exposure and security comprise a holistic system that is designed to be as comprehensive as it is ecologically friendly. The Doerner Institute’s (www.doernerinstitut.de) decades of experience in issues relating to museum construction made an essential contribution to devising an innovative system, in close collaboration with the architects, building authorities and planners.
While conventionally climate-controlled museum buildings heat and cool with air, Museum Brandhorst uses the walls and floor to regulate room temperature. Through this so-called “building component activation”, a high level of temperature stability is achieved. In comparison to conventionally climate-controlled museum spaces, it also makes lower room temperatures possible. This effect is familiar to us from traditional masonry heaters. Despite the lower air temperature, the gallery feels uniformly warm and pleasant to the visitor.
The air exchange is carried out by means of upward-displacement air conditioning: air vents are located along the walls through which the conditioned air reaches the gallery space. The filtering of the fresh air that is introduced prevents air-polluting particles and gases from harming the sensitive surfaces of the artworks. In addition to this, the upward-displacement air conditioning also takes care of the regulation of the relative humidity, the stability of which is important for the preservation of the valuable exhibits.
Another important component is the lighting system: in Museum Brandhorst, daylight is given priority over artificial light. Elements covered with transparent plastic form luminous ceilings which define the visual impression both of the ground floor and of the galleries on the upper floor. These luminous ceilings distribute the diffuse daylight as well as the artificial lighting which is hidden behind them. Concealed light-regulating elements control the light exposure and prevent high levels of illumination, which can be damaging for the exhibited artworks.
The security of the exhibits is ensured through a multi-level system, ranging from securing the artworks on the wall to a comprehensive video surveillance system.