KIW-Quartier – Schwerin, Germany

2023 – Competition - Second Prize

Our prize-winning competition entry for the KIW-Quartier seeks to highlight the architectural qualities of the existing building and bring them into harmony with the new use as an art gallery, archive and exhibition space. A discreet extension on the north side of the garage building acts as a distributor to access the exhibition rooms and is placed in such a way that it does not affect the line of sight from the historically important forecourt. 

At the same time, the extension plays an important role in activating the main square of the former KIW, as it enables the outdoor area around the building to be used. The new display gallery will therefore fulfill its role as a barrier-free access to the exhibitions via the covered passage between the two buildings. A loading/unloading zone allows the delivery and installation of works of art from the forecourt. 

While all existing buildings are being carefully renovated, the new extension is clearly different from the existing building in terms of materials, but is subordinate to the garage building in terms of scale. The ceiling panels of the extension protrude to different extents and take in their eaves line. With the careful 'reduction' and removal of the cladding and extensions that have been added over the past few years, the material variance in the existing building is reduced and brings it out to better advantage.The ground floor extension to the garage building is made of sustainable timber construction, which creates a warm atmosphere in the rooms most frequently frequented by visitors. The glazing opens up views to the north and activates the work yard.

The completely ground-level and step-free access to the ground floor areas, in combination with the introduction of a freight elevator in the administration building, ensures barrier-free access throughout the entire showroom. The strategic placement of the freight elevator next to the stairs exposes the entire floor plan of the administration building in order to create an adaptable and flexible series of artist rooms create that are only separated by a variable system of curtains. An integrated hanging system allows the installation of two-dimensional works.

Project Team

German Nieva

Ryan Lam

Daniel Sars

Sofia Najy Mezdagat

Kirra Pasco

Dawoud Sohail


Landscape Architects

Burkhard Sandler


Structural Engineers

BfB Büro für Baukonstruktionen