Renovating the Kunsthalle zu Kiel:
Closure from 25 September 2023
Kiel University (CAU) and its art gallery have been working for a long time towards renovating the listed museum building in Düsternbrooker Weg. On Monday, 13 March 2023, the university, the museum and the state jointly presented the structural measures and initial plans for the interim period. The renovation of the building will be accompanied by the closure of the Kunsthalle zu Kiel and the Collection of Classical Antiquities as from 25 September 2023. Moving back into the building is planned for 2028.
Since the expansion of the Kunsthalle zu Kiel in the 1980s, standards in museum construction and operation have changed fundamentally. The conservation requirements have increased considerably for sustainable, low-cost operation and energy-efficient building services, lighting concepts and digitalised presentation formats in particular, as well as storing pieces of art. "In addition, renovations have become necessary to ensure fire safety, occupational health and safety, to improve the general structure of the building and accessibility for disabled people, as well as to satisfy changes to spatial requirements," explained CAU Chancellor Claudia Ricarda Meyer. "Thanks to the state's investment and with additional federal funding from the KulturInvest programme, we can now get started," Meyer continued. For the first time, Kiel University and its Facility Management will take on the role of building owner with this renovation.
Dr Anette Hüsch, director of the Kunsthalle zu Kiel, sees the extensive construction project as a powerful signal for the museum’s work as well as a great opportunity: "This renovation will make the Kunsthalle zu Kiel fit for the future. In addition to the urgently needed technical and structural renovations and restructuring, the construction project will also make the building much more attractive in terms of the quality of the visitors' stay.” Among other things, a café with a terrace opening towards the city and the castle garden is planned to take advantage of the museum’s unique location on the Kiel Fjord. The exhibition spaces and areas for education and outreach are being modernised and restructured. According to Hüsch, "The renovation is also urgently needed to maintain and further develop the art gallery with regard to national and international standards in art and climate protection, and it offers us opportunities to further develop the building, including in terms of managing and guiding visitors and improving accessibility."
The State of Schleswig-Holstein and the Federal Government invest in Kiel as a location for art and culture
Minister of Culture Karin Prien emphasised the importance of the art gallery as a location for art and culture in Schleswig-Holstein and described it as a very important institution for the mediation of art in all its facets and current references. "The collection is characterised, among other things, by focal points in 19th century art, expressionism and international contemporary art. As a pure art museum, it is unprecedented in Schleswig-Holstein," said the Minister. She is pleased that the art gallery will become even more attractive through the extensive renovation and that the collection will be optimally protected so that a lively academic exchange and diverse offers for visitors will remain possible in the future.
Around 49.5 million euros are being invested in the renovation of this historical building. Around 30 million euros of this will come from the state's IMPULS infrastructural modernisation programme. Minister of Finance Monika Heinold emphasised: "The renovation of the art gallery combines art, culture and climate protection in Kiel. It is a project from the early IMPULS years that I was particularly committed to. It is important to me that the people of Schleswig-Holstein can experience art in a modern and sustainable museum. Once again, IMPULS offers a solid concept for precisely this purpose. Regardless of the current budgetary situation, the programme guarantees predictability and reliability for infrastructure projects throughout the state. A core element for IMPULS is energy-efficient refurbishment. This is why we are also implementing climate protection goals in the renovation of the art gallery and specifically promoting sustainable construction."
In addition, in September 2022, the German Bundestag’s budget committee approved funding of almost 19.5 million euros from the KulturInvest programme. The CAU will cover the other non-eligible costs.
Art while the museum is closed
Key museum tasks such as restoration measures, the digitalisation of the collection items and provenance research will continue while the museum is closed. "In addition, together with the Schleswig-Holsteinischer Kunstverein (Schleswig-Holstein Art Association), we are also planning to offer a programme during the closure period and will invite visitors to exhibitions and events at other locations in Kiel and to digital formats," said museum director Hüsch, giving an initial outlook. Specific and definitive offers will be published throughout the course of the year.
About the Kunsthalle zu Kiel (Kiel Art Gallery)
The Kunsthalle zu Kiel is one of Kiel University’s (CAU) facilities and belongs to the university’s corporate assets. It is also home to the Schleswig-Holsteinischer Kunstverein (Schleswig-Holstein Art Association), which was founded in 1843. The building was constructed in 1909 as a traditional daylight museum and rebuilt in 1958 after the destruction of the Second World War. In the 1980s, the building complex was also extended as a daylight museum and in 2012 a new entrance section was added in front of it. The striking urban ensemble is a listed building.
About Schleswig-Holstein’s IMPULS programme
The IMPULS infrastructure modernisation programme, launched in 2015, has a total volume of around 5.4 billion euros. So far, infrastructure projects worth around 1.4 billion euros have been implemented through IMPULS.