Hefte zur Baukunst, a publication series issued by the Hermann Reemtsma Stiftung, showcases architectural structures that are of historic importance, documenting their background, development, and professional restoration. The third volume in this series is dedicated to the Ernst Barlach Haus, erected by Hermann Reemtsma in the early 1960s. Reemtsma and Barlach had met personally in 1934, prompting Reemtsma to build his collection of artworks around Barlach’s oeuvre.
Following an architectural design competition, Werner Kallmorgen was commissioned to build a modern museum that would blend in unobtrusively with its green surroundings in Hamburg’s Jenischpark. Consequently, Kallmorgen’s design featured a single-story cuboid block with a flat roof and open central courtyard. The architect paid particular attention to the presentation of the exhibited artworks, as well as to the colors, background, and lighting in the individual rooms.
Owing to changes in the requirements concerning museum buildings, the foundation’s board decided in 1995 to ask the successors of Werner Kallmorgen’s architecture firm to expand and modernize the Ernst Barlach Haus. Twenty years later, the building was refurbished again with the particular aim of improving the lighting conditions, finetuning the interplay between the natural light flooding in from the courtyard and skylights and the artificial light produced by electric lamps.