Dresden public art collections, repository for Museum of Prints and Drawings, Dresden

Construction, production and installation

Completion 2002


What exactly can one do with a collection of 515,000 graphic prints, drawings and photographs? That was the question posed for the collection rooms of the Museum of Prints and Drawings at its new home in Dresden Castle. The repository was not only to be functional, it was to guarantee an aesthetic presentation at the same time. And since the collection needed to be protected, the use of metal cabinets was not an option because anything stored within them would burn in the event of a fire. The Dresden Institute for Wood Technology determined that alder would be the most suitable material. We had 1000 cubic meters driven in, that’s five fully-loaded tractor trailers. From this, we manufactured flat-file cabinets, some as wide as 2.40 metres, which was fairly difficult to realise because the cabinets needed to be sturdy, durable and yet be able to be moved easily and smoothly. 260 fire-proof collection cabinets of seven different types were manufactured, fire-proof in that only the outer wooden shell would burn in case of emergency.

Text: Rainer Baginski
Photo: Herbert Boswank