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Genius Frankfurt Museum Comes With Light-Up Lawn/Roof

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Städel Museum

The two-century-old Städel Museum in Frankfurt, Germany, which is celebrated for the breadth of its European painting collection, now has a walkable grass roof with undulating hills and 195 circular skylights. It's not just lively landscaping, however: the expansive green lawn actually covers the museum's new basement galleries. Designed by local architects Schneider+Schumacher, the 32,000-square-foot extension makes two diverse areas seem like something they're not: a roof feels like a lawn, and thanks to its grid of skylights, a subterranean exhibition space appears light and airy.

The museum's innovative lighting scheme recently won a World Interiors News Award. In the underground galleries, the vaulted ceilings and walls are painted a bright white, and skylights in the center are nearly nine feet in diameter, while those on the sides are five feet wide.

"Both intensity and color temperature of the lighting are individually controllable within each skylight," writes World Interiors News. Other lights are recessed into the ceiling, with accent lights on a peripheral track, for an effect that even in the darker hours disguises its basement location, and the fact that hundreds of people are walking on the grass roof above. More photos, below:

· Städel Museum [Official site]
· World Interiors News Annual Awards 2014 Winners Announced [Official site]
· The 2014 World Interiors News Annual Awards Winners [Bustler]
· All Awards posts [Curbed National]
· All Globe Trotting posts [Curbed National]