Change the lighting – not the subject

Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt & Kuehn Malvezzi

Just recently Max Hollein told me at the opening of Michael Riedel’s show ‘Kunste Zur Text’ that he is admiring the fact that the corporate design of the Schirn Kunsthalle after 11 years is still ‘looking fresh’ …. that’s what we call creating a contemporary classic. And this is how it all came about …. really.

In 2001 we were asked to come up with a whole corporate identity for the Schirn Kunsthalle in Frankfurt. Max Hollein has just moved over from New York, where he was ’Chief of Staff and Manager of European Relations‘ and now assigned director of the Schirn. It was the whole package. Redefining everything from the gound up. Logo, letterheads, business cards, catalogues, posters, well, you get the idea. And then, there was the question of the visitor guidance system. We were invited to meet with the elected architects some time around April 2001. Until this day, I only have come across noses-up-in-the-air-architects you all might have met or will meet at some stage in your career. However, entering the office of the new and very young director at the time, Max Hollein to discuss the guidance system and meeting up with as expected an architect in a very well tailored suit, I thought ‘here we go again - let begin the architects’ talk talk. But I was taught a lesson that day - not to be such a prejudiced bastard. Wilfried Kuehn of Kuehn Malvezzi was the punk in Italian thread no one would have expected. He was very well on our side of things. Very opinionated in a good way when it came to structure, analytic and systematic thinking. Right up our alley. Since then we’ve become close friends and have been quite inseparable, having produced and worked on many, many very well received projects and looking forward together for more to come. You find many those finished projects here on our site ... most of them.

Photography by Ulrich Schwarz
Photography by Ulrich Schwarz
Photography by Ulrich Schwarz
Photography by Ulrich Schwarz