The new Gutenberg Museum
Initiated by the Gutenberg Museum, a comprehensive analysis of the current state of the museum's infrastructure was carried out in the years 2013-2014. This analysis constituted the basis for a scenographic concept that was developed in cooperation with the Stuttgart-based architecture firm Atelier Brückner. The innovative plan for a future-ready museum addressed architectural and content shortcomings and offered recommendations for the sustainable improvement of the presentation of the contents and museum operations. Maintaining the reputation of a world museum of the art of printing requires basic upgrades of both the constructional situation as well as the design of the exhibition and the further development of the contents to also incorporate the 21st century.
Based on the scenographic concept, an EU-wide architectural competition was launched in 2015. The competition concluded on February 19th, 2016 with the first place awarded to the Hamburg-based architectural firm of DFZ Architekten (2nd place: Mäckler Architekten, Frankfurt a. M., 3rd place: Lederer Ragnarsdóttir Oei, Stuttgart). The winning design stipulated in the first construction phase an independent building with underground connection to the existing exhibition building ( the so-called "Schell building") as part of an overall concept for a "museum quarter" or "Gutenberg quarter." However, in performance phase 5, the construction project that had been approved by the city council of Mainz was stopped on April 15, 2018 by a public referendum.
Based on a recommendation by mayor Michael Ebling , the city council of Mainz established on May 9, 2018 a "Task force for the modernization of the Gutenberg Museum" to advance the museum's further development as a joint effort of the city council, the museum, parliamentary parties, citizens' action groups, as well as residents of Mainz. So far, 17 meetings were held with the authoritative participation of the museum. The discussed issues included the question of an alternative location.
After a final meeting on June 25, 2020, the “Arbeitswerkstatt Modernisierung Gutenberg-Museum” voted unanimously for a new building at the old location in the city center of Mainz and passed this decision on to the city council.