The Gropius building

Historische Ansicht

Museum ParkansichtThe Gropius-building of the Zoological Museum represents a cultural-historical treasure of Kiel: It was conceptualized by the Berlin architects Martin Gropius (1824 – 1880) and Heino Schmieden in cooperation with the zoologist Karl-August Möbius. It was opened in 1881 and is considered to be one of the few preserved – inside and outside - Gropius-buildings. This architecturally extraordinary building combines aesthetics and scientific insights of the Gründerzeit and thereby forms an attractive foundation for the exhibitions. For the first time a museum distinguished between public exhibitions and non-pubic research collections.
A high, well-lit hall with two circumferential galleries forms the centre of the building with additional rooms on three floors. The hall receives its light from the large windows in the roof lantern. The exceptional aesthetics of the hall is due to the unique combination of light, glass and steel. The collection archives are found in large rooms in the basement and in the attic. A construction like this, with a central presentational hall and surrounding research and collection rooms, represented a fundamental innovation in museum conceptions in 1881. The museum in Kiel thereby became exemplary for the future development of natural science museums in the 19th century. Today the museum building is a reference for the ‘hall museum type’.
Many other museums were built following the example of the museum in Kiel. Remained has e.g. the Zoological Museum Wroclaw.