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Städel Museum



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Year Completed




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Project Description

SEFAR Architecture fabric diffuses natural light softly and gently through unique glass apertures inside a new exhibition area at the Städel Museum in Frankfurt, Germany. The museum houses over 2,900 paintings, 600 sculptures, 500 photographs, and around 100,000 drawings and graphic reproductions dating from the Middle Ages to the present.

The 279 square-foot underground museum extension allows warm natural light to filter into the 180 by 156 foot exhibition hall through the 195 circular skylights. The exhibition area is illuminated naturally through glass apertures between 5 and 8 feet in diameter. A shade system with solar protection blinds and two membranes of light-diffusing and acoustically-active SEFAR® ArchitecturePVDF fabric in each skylight make it possible to soften and diffuse the direct rays of light. The shell of the ceiling is vaulted in the center by means of twelve dome-shaped inner supports.

The fabric specified for the shade system is SEFAR Architecture’s IA-80-CL fabric – built for light reflection, acoustic operativeness and environmental well-being. “The design team required an element that could soften the feel of the room, both through acoustic dampening and light diffusion,” says Peter Katcha, Director of North American Sales for SEFAR Architecture. “Our fabrics satisfy both of these needs, all while remaining free of volatile organic compounds (VOCs).”

The IA-80-CL fabric provides 80% light transmission, high light diffusion with minimal color shift, and is sound-absorbing. It is also UV-resistant, dirt repellent, does not allow moisture absorption, and is low in weight per square meter. Ultimately, all of the fabric’s optimized technical specifications, in addition to its look, make it one of the most versatile interior design materials available.

Today, the museum’s contemporary collection is housed in a new exhibition hall that lies beneath the garden where the Städel is situated, with free-formed skylight ”tops“ breaking through the green roof. At night, the walk-on skylights create a magical illuminated carpet.
Since this spectacular museum extension opened to the public in February 2012, visitors have had access to works by major German contemporary artists, including Kiefer, Baselitz, Lüpertz, and Richter.

Members of the project team included architect Schneider+Schumacher, Frankfurt, Germany, engineer B+G Ingenieure/Bollinger and Grohmann GmbH, Frankfurt, Germany, installer Typico Megaprints GmbH & Co. KG, Lochau, Austria.

About SEFAR Architecture: SEFAR Architecture is a leading manufacturer of monofilament precision and ePTFE yarn fabrics and fabric systems for interior and exterior architectural applications. With comprehensive knowledge in textile architecture, Sefar has cooperated with experienced lighting technicians and polymer experts to develop a new generation of fabrics for the architectural and design community. For more information on SEFAR Architecture’s products and services, call Peter Katcha at 727-388-4919 or visit
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