A museum for the city, an open and welcoming forum for dialogue and exchange about and with the city. It is a city museum in the truest sense; the »StadtPalais – City Museum of Stuttgart« is a place where the citizens of Stuttgart can interact and connect with each other and their city. The new City Museum of Stuttgart in the historic Wilhelmspalais was designed with people at its heart. It asks how Stuttgart became what it is today, seeks perspectives on today’s city life, and discovers visions for the Stuttgart of tomorrow.
The full design concept and creation of the permanent and exhibition and the first two special exhibitions were entrusted to jangled nerves.
As the city’s new museum, the StadtPalais should be accessible on all kinds of levels – and for everyone. The implementation and design of the exhibitions is explicitly aimed at a wide audience. The concept and exhibition design are characterised by dialogue-based formats and a consistent focus on participation. The various themes and their implementation are aimed at encouraging the visitors to rediscover their city, inspiring debate on city life, and opening up previously unfamiliar perspectives on the city and its residents. These ambitions were fulfilled by a modern exhibition design and use of a wide range of interactive media. Everything revolves around one question: what makes Stuttgart so special? The StadtPalais is a place where visitors discover the city’s history, discuss its present and devise its future. In that spirit, the trio of opening exhibitions form a harmonious design concept. While the permanent exhibition mainly offers different insights into »Stuttgart City Stories« from the past, visitors can rediscover their city through sound in the interactive exhibition »Sound of Stuttgart«. Visitors can help shape and discuss the city’s future development in the discursive format »Stuttgart and You 2038« with the help of an imaginative cityscape.
»STUTTGART CITY STORIES«
The permanent exhibition »Stuttgart City Stories« covers an area and is the heart of the museum. It tells the story of the past that built the city’s identity since the late 18th century. The exhibition begins in the present among the citizens of Stuttgart themselves: what do they think of their city? What makes someone a »Stuttgarter«? In the centre, visitors encounter a huge, detailed model of Stuttgart. The huge topographic display is brought to life through a multimedia experience, where details about city life are projected onto the »surface« of the city. As well as individual streets and buildings, it is home to all kinds of information on Stuttgart as a social space and physical place. The city becomes the primary exhibit. With its radiant aura, the city model provides an initial emotional approach to the Stuttgart phenomenon from various angles. It also invites visitors to find out more in-depth information on interactive media screens – allowing them to browse through the city and what makes it today.
Around the city model, »city conversations« bring exciting events in the city’s history to life. Objects and audio based on historical documents such as reports on the electrification of Stuttgart, letters to Mayor Manfred Rommel on the Red Army Faction (or Baader-Meinhof) terrorist group and disputes surrounding the S21 development project give the visitor an immersive insight into the issues which have shaped and moved the city of Stuttgart. In the interactive sections »Spirit« and »Form«, the visitor is encouraged to discover the stories themselves. White models of buildings such as the Solitude Palace and symbolic objects like the Juchtenkäfer bug, made famous by Stuttgart S21, awaken the visitors’ interest. They invite visitors to discover the issues behind the object through multimedia, as when the models are placed on an interactive surface, they activate a multimedia story with the history and in-depth information on the object. Visitors discover the stories behind the models themselves based on their own interests and discover the spirit and soul of Stuttgart by picking up and touching the objects.
In two »Century Rooms«, over 200 exhibits provide an insight into Stuttgart’s story through authentic objects. As part of a dense, chrono-thematic development, they tell an overall story which is subtly broken down into individual themed areas through architectural gradations. Throughout the exhibition takes off a subtly artistic trail: Visitors will find small wire sculptures by Stuttgart artist Jan Hoos on colourful podiums, which are model portraits of people who have shaped the city’s destiny. Our approach to media guides sees the people of Stuttgart tell their own story. In a multimedia tour, visitors can discover the exhibition along with the storyteller, from hip-hop musicians to street newspaper sellers, these characters tell their very own Stuttgart stories. For younger visitors, the multimedia tour was created as an authentic experience by children for children, in collaboration with Galileo Grundschule.