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  3. The new Gutenberg Museum

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.

In June 2021, Mayor Michael Ebling and Head of the Department of Construction and Culture Marianne Grosse presented the results of the feasibility study "Modernization of the Gutenberg Museum" at a press conference. As soon as a financing concept is in place, the architectural competition will be launched, which will lead to concrete plans in May 2022. The plans also call for construction to begin at the end of 2023. In March 2023 - according to the plans - the Gutenberg Museum will have moved into its interim location and will be able to display its most significant exhibits in the Natural History Museum until the new Gutenberg Museum opens in 2026. Plans for the further structural development of the Gutenberg Museum are progressing at full speed. Since December 2020, the Schaufenster - World Museum of the Printing Arts has been providing information about the future of the museum. In the former "bauhaus.lab," information is now provided on the progress of the new building in regularly changing themes. An illuminated sign, with reference to the multi-award-winning special exhibition of the same name from 2016/17 in the font "Futura" shines in the evening and night hours in the urban space. With the redesign of the display window now completed, another step has been taken in the very ambitious timetable for the implementation of the project, which was set by the head of the building department, Marianne Grosse, and the museum director, Dr. Ludwig, after the successful completion of the working workshop itself. Even the state of Rhineland-Palatinate is committed to the further development of the Gutenberg Museum. An excerpt in the new coalition agreement states: "The legacy of the great inventor and media revolutionary Johannes Gutenberg radiates far beyond the city and state borders and is of great importance both nationally and internationally. We are committed to ensuring that the federal government takes due account of the role of the Gutenberg Museum in Mainz and provides it with institutional support. The state will also contribute financially to the further development of the museum in terms of content and construction." Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator (free version)

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