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Neanderthal Museum, Mettmann

The home of the Neanderthal man was a flat landscape much like the Steppes, which underwent radical change over the next thousands of years as a result of erosion and alluviation. Thus, the research of 19th-century scientists led them through a deeply-indented valley, which was altered even further following the establishment of limestone quarriers for industrial use.

In 1993 a museum concept with a topographical interpretation based fully on ecological principles was worked out and submitted for an invited competition. It represents a perfect match for the romantic Neanderthal silhouette. The Neanderthal Museum is the natural continuation of the changes in the topography and is designed to reduce the visibility of the intervention to a minimum. The concrete, steel and glass construction of the museum is inset in the hillside. The single-level building is only visible from the exterior due to a window slit. The museum thus becomes an integral and natural component of the surounding landscape.

  • Location
  • Mettmann, Germany
  • Built
  • international competition 1993