MK&G Hamburg Unveils its Vibrant + Inspiring New Foyer

The Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe Hamburg (MK&G) has just undergone an awe-inspiring transformation of its foyer, courtesy of the creative minds at Studio Besau-Marguerre. After an arduous four and a half months of renovation work, the MK&G now opens its doors to visitors with a harmonious fusion of design, functionality, and hospitality.

At the heart of the redesign, and after much observation of visitor flows, is a clear guidance system that not only ensures the safety and well-being of guests and staff, but also enhances the overall experience. The reception area is aligned along the entrance’s visual sight lines, ensuring smooth orientation for all visitors. Cloakrooms and bright yellow lockers are thoughtfully positioned to respect the logical steps of a museum visit while adhering to social distancing norms.

interior view of modern museum seating area of modular cobalt seating, pink walls, and yellow curtains

Off to the left of the foyer is a lounge space that boasts modular seating options in a bold cobalt blue that will invite visitors to take a rest.

angled down view of modern seating area with cobalt blue sofa edge and striped carpet

Studio Besau-Marguerre created a vibrant color scheme, including vivid blue, bright yellow, and four shades of terracotta, to form a captivating guidance system. As visitors journey through the foyer, they’ll be intuitively led to the side spaces through four color gradations – from pale pink to dark terracotta. Not only do they give nod to the historical color scheme of the coffered ceiling in the vestibule, but they also infuse a contemporary flair that sparks creativity throughout.

colorful interior of modern museum

The interior evokes feelings of coziness and sophistication, with soft materials like wood, wool, and hand-tufted carpets. The designers have even paid attention to the acoustics, ensuring that the ambiance remains pleasant throughout each visit. Curtains hung in a semi-circle enhance sound quality, complementing the new acoustic ceiling and panels on the walls.

modern museum interior with blue kiosk and bright yellow lockers

two rows of bright yellow modern lockers

bright yellow modern lockers next to red mirror

modern museum interior with blue kiosk and seating area

From Eva Marguerre and Marcel Besau:

We found redesigning the MK&G foyer to be an especially enjoyable task. This is where visitors get their first impression of the museum. So we endeavored to create an inviting spot that draws people into world of art and design while already sparking inspiration! Particularly exciting for us was the dialogue between the historical architecture and a contemporary interior.

partial interior view of modern museum interior with yellow lockers and blue kiosk

angled view of large pink room with long cobalt blue table with matching stools

Equipped with a long blue table filled with literature on the themes showcased in the exhibitions, the media lounge is perfect for school classes or events. On the walls, a sea of exhibition posters from the MK&G’s diverse program, sets the mood for further museum exploration.

angled view of large pink room with long cobalt blue table with matching stools

partial view of cobalt blue table with books on it

angled view of large pink room with long cobalt blue table with matching stools

Inspired by the rounded arches in the museum’s historical building, rounded shapes are incorporated to create a cohesive feel.

short yellow table bench under tv displaying art

angled foyer view in modern museum with blue kiosk

angled foyer view in modern museum with blue kiosk

angled foyer view in modern museum with blue kiosk

angled foyer view in modern museum with blue kiosk

In the center of the foyer, Stuart Haygarth’s “Tide 200” chandelier greets visitors with a mesmerizing, colorful display of found beach plastics.

angled foyer view in modern museum with blue kiosk

two people standing in a large pink room with modular blue sofa and gold curtains

The redesign of the foyer area completed in cooperation with Sprinkenhof GmbH and in accordance with guidelines set by Hamburg’s Ministry of Culture and Media and Monument Protection Office. Also involved in the project were SWP Architekten, Wittmaack Ingenieurgesellschaft from Elmshorn, and Licht 01 Lighting Design from Hamburg.

Photography by Brita Sönnichsen.

Caroline Williamson is Editor-in-Chief of Design Milk. She has a BFA in photography from SCAD and can usually be found searching for vintage wares, doing New York Times crossword puzzles in pen, or reworking playlists on Spotify.

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