The Brandhorst Museum houses a substantial private collection of late 20th Century, and contemporary, art mostly paintings. The scheme consists of a simple elongated building of three interconnecting volumes; its tall "head" marks the southeastern corner of the Munich museum quarter. The three volumes are distinguished by claddings of different colours and hues.
Internally, the museum is developed on three floors connected by a generous staircase. On the lowest level is a large day-lit patio that forms the focal point for a suite of galleries dedicated to media and graphic art. The ground floor has seven universal exhibition spaces, illuminated by a daylight system that brings zenith light into the interior through a series of reflectors. The top floor, with the largest spaces, has continuous top light in all its galleries.
The architect Sauerbruch Hutton chose a PVC false ceiling to light and enhance the exposed works of the XXth century, among which are Andy Warhol's famous paintings. Indeed, the PVC membrane diffuses light in a sweet and homogeneous way on the whole exhibition space. The design aims to create a subtle differentiation in character between the various exhibition spaces through the different daylight qualities as well as through a deliberate variation in the sequence and dimensions of all the rooms.
The external skin of the building is composed of 36,000 ceramic rods in an assortment of 23 custom colours, glazed in families of eight colours. A second layer consists of a horizontally folded metal skin, coated in two colours. This layering and its polychromy lends the skin a varied appearance | What is vivid and three-dimensional from close up, will appear homogeneous and flat from afar.