The Museum Island Hombroich is a private museum complex, located near Neuss in Germany and conceived by his founder, art-collector Karl-Heinrich Müller (1936-2007), as an open experiment in art exhibition and a supporting tool for artist and architects. Today the island is part of a larger complex which includes the Kirkeby-Feld and the Raketenstation, a former NATO base, and hosts scholars and artists from various parts of the world.
The first act of foundation was the purchase of the Rosa Haus, an industrialist’s villa with garden, then the park was landscaped by Bernhard Korte and later, from 1982 to 1994, the island/park was punctuated by eleven pavilions designed by the sculptor Erwin Heerich, whose geometrical drawings we already published here on Socks.
The small brick architectures dispersed in the park have been conceived by Heerich starting from the sculptural elements he developed throughout his lifelong artistic research and practice. They don’t relate to any kind of architectural style nor aim to directly respond to the topography of the site: they’re autonomous objects developed from a geometrical research, responding to rules intrinsical in the making of their own form. All the pavilions share a similar high and a brick texture on the outside while the inside has white walls and marble or basalt floors. Each pavilion is often developed starting from a stereometric shape as in most of Heerich work.
The first three pavilions (Orangerie, Graubner-Pavillon, Hohe Galerie 1983) are built in collaboration with architect Hermann Muller. In the following years several other buildings were built as both exhibition spaces and sort of large walk-in sculptures and completed with a library and some seminar rooms (Labyrinth 1985/86; Turm 1988; Tadeusz Pavillon, Schnecke, Zwölf-Räume-Haus, 1991-1993). The exhibition displayed through the park and the pavilions feature artworks from widely different periods juxtaposed one another and shown without any identifying label or sign.
The site of the Museum Insel Hombroich
“Toward a New Museum“, by Victoria Newhouse (New York Times)
Publication: Erwin Heerich. Museum Insel Hombroich (Kunsthaus Bregenz 1996)
Karl-Heinrich Müller (1936-2007): Hombroich – An Open Experiment
Images from “Architecture and Urbanism” 339 (“Herwin Heerich Museum Insel Hombroich Neuss Germany”) – Nov 1998. Via: Brick Blog
and from: Crossart Route Moderne Kunst.