Deutsches Museum, Munich: Conversion during ongoing operation

June 12, 2023

The Deutsches Museum in Munich is undergoing a general refurbishment – to last until 2028. A large, extremely complex project, in which the modernisation of the doors in particular requires a great deal of specialist knowledge due to today’s stricter fire protection regulations. The first construction phase has already been completed. Since the work is being carried out during ongoing operations, this project is very demanding not only for the planners, but also for the installation company. Today, more than 200 new steel doors from Teckentrup provide state-of-the-art security.

“With Teckentrup, we have an excellent and reliable partner at our side who provides us with excellent support in all aspects of handling such building projects. This includes, among other things, help with technical clarification, in particular expert support in planning the execution as well as innovative problem solving. This extends to the reliable cooperation with the logistics department: Constricted delivery zones and firmly defined delivery times are always a challenge, even for the drivers, in such situated and tightly timed projects.”

Ute Fiedler, Project Manager Doors, Jens Dunkel Glas- und Bauelemente GmbH, Burg.

For 120 years, the Deutsches Museum in Munich has been impressing its visitors with scientific and technical exhibits. Above all, the demonstrations with practical experiments attract many people. But even the technical focus of the exhibition(s) could not stop the ravages of time: The building and its equipment had to be brought up to date. Therefore, the main building on Munich’s Museum Island is being made fit for the future in a long-term process by means of general renovation – and the renovation itself is becoming an exhibition-worthy feat, presented in a huge building complex with more than 66,000 square metres of exhibition space. What’s more, the spectacle takes place during ongoing operations. Several large, heavy and sensitive exhibits of the approximately 125,000 exhibits must remain in their rooms. This is an ambitious project that is particularly challenging for the construction teams. Accordingly, those responsible are pushing ahead with the renovation with great caution and care. The renovation began in 2015 and the first phase ended in 2022. The second phase should also be completed by the 125th anniversary in 2028.

Modernisation and security

In the long history of the museum, there has also been fire and water damage and the fire compartments realised at the time were too large for today’s specifications. In order to increase protection in the course of the modernisation, special importance was therefore attached to fire and flood protection – and also to securing escape routes. Today, a new flood protection wall around the building protects against flood damage from the Isar river. For fire protection, many new fire doors were installed, precisely specified for the respective location. Here, the planners had to take into account various structural situations – different existing walls (masonry, reinforced concrete, lightweight construction) as well as diverse technical profiles (size, escape and rescue routes or access authorisations, T30/T90, with or without glass inlet for viewing, etc.).

Planning, production and assembly: hand in hand to the optimum result

With Jens Dunkel Glas- und Bauelemente GmbH, a company experienced in the contract business and museum construction took on these challenges. 200 steel doors (mainly in the non-public parts of the building) had to be planned and installed in the first construction phase. During the construction phase, project manager Ute Fiedler was repeatedly confronted with special cases for which it was necessary to find pragmatic solutions together with Teckentrup on site and to provide the architects with expert advice. The door manufacturer is familiar with the special requirements of museums and provides adequate escape route and burglar-proof solutions in many buildings around the world, for example in the Klimahaus Bremerhaven, the “Tate Modern” in London or the “M+” in Hong Kong.
At the end of the first construction phase, the installation of exhibits and exhibitions ran simultaneously with the door installation, the technical equipment and the test runs. Additional safety measures even applied to this work parallel to museum operations.

Security for the present and the future

Around 1.5 million people visit the Deutsches Museum every year. Such visitor numbers lead to a sophisticated (emergency) route concept. Even large passageways that normally invite guests to pass through must close reliably in an emergency. Escape doors, in turn, must be immediately recognisable and easy to open in an emergency. Optimally, the security functions not only cover the current situation, but also ensure the safety of visitors and exhibits for many years to come. The Deutsches Museum shows: When those involved work hand in hand, such solutions can be found. Thus, 125 years after its opening, the museum will be state of the art and well equipped for the future.

Site map

  • Location: Museum Island 1, 80538 Munich
  • Client: German Museum, Munich
  • Architect’s office: RKW Architecture+, Düsseldorf
  • Installation company for object doors: Jens Dunkel Glas- und Bauelemente GmbH, Burg
  • Doors: Approx. 200 doors, including fire-retardant and fire-resistant doors and flaps. – T30-1/2-FSA “Teckentrup 62 – T90-1/2-FSA “Teckentrup 62”)
  • Modernisation/refurbishment 1st section: From 10/2015 to 07/2022 (opening).

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