Mobile interactive Erich Kästner micro-museum, Dresden

Construction and production

Completion 1999


The Erich Kästner Museum located in Villa Augustin on Dresden’s Albertplatz was inaugurated in the year 2000. An initiative promoted by the citizens of Dresden and the Irish architect Ruairí O’Brien made this, the world’s “first mobile interactive micro-museum”, possible. An array of multimedia delights forms its walk-in centre: CDs, videos, Internet, an Erich Kästner database – visitors can take their own approach to appreciating Kästner. The columns keep the tangible documentation of Kästner’s life and work safe, their pointed nature contrasting with the poet’s dry museology. In principle, the museum can be set up anywhere, its space requirements are small. The adjustable columns are key in this respect. Colours are used to distinguish among the ranges of topics documented therein. Thus, the colour concept to the columns functions as an image, as a corporate identity, so that the museum installation will retain its vitality under the most diverse spatial conditions. The work entrusted to Deutsche Werkstätten required precise craftsmanship. Non-veneered birch Multiplex panels exhibit minor dimensional differences resulting from their production. These differences had to be rectified by meticulous sanding in order to ensure the individual structural units would have a perfect seat. The need for precision thus applied to each and every measurement, each and every fitting.
Erich Kästner was one of the very few authors to write for adults as well as children. His motto was that only he who as an adult remains a child “can be considered a human being.” Architect Ruairí O’Brien congenially succeeded in visibly imparting the author’s duality in his museum concept. Although having the magnitude of an “adult” museum, it is nevertheless convincingly fresh and youthful in its aesthetics and appearance, making a solid impression on the visitor.

Text: Rainer Baginski
Photo: Lothar Sprenger