Plauen Lace Museum

Exhibition design for the World of Lace

Location: Plauen, Germany
Client: City of Plauen
Competition: 2017, 1st place
To be completed: 2021
Size: 1,200 m2

The City of Plauen, in the state of Saxony’s Vogtland region, has a historically significant role in the development and production of machine-made lace, curtains and other textiles. To celebrate the significance of the city and region’s textile industry, the City of Plauen decided to renovate the historic Weisbachsches Haus, a heritage listed factory building from the 18th century, as the new home of a museum dedicated to Plauen Lace. In 2017 KOKO architects was selected to design the museum’s permanent exhibition.
KOKO’s concept aims to create a modern visitor centre for Plauen Lace and the wider textile industry. The new exhibition builds on the idea of lace as a special textile with its extraordinary patterns, as well as the rich variety of stories from people connected to its production to create an immersive experience.

A transparent extension will be added in the courtyard of the existing four-storey building. The ground floor will host the foyer with a ticket office, museum shop, cloakroom and a large multifunctional hall. The exhibition itself begins on the first and second floor, while the attic level will host office rooms, a library, cafeteria and roof terraces.

Visitors will be guided through the building to learn about the world of lace, the history of the local textile industry, the technical background, lace patterns, the cultural history of lace. The stories of the many people involved creates a link between art, culture and technology. Numerous multi-media and hands-on stations help to provide visitors with a memorable experience.

The first and second floors bring visitors from pre and early industrialisation through the effects of the industrial revolution on the local textile industries and wider society – as told by the workers as well as through their tools, machines and products of their work. Between them an intermediate floor in the new extension provides an intimate setting to celebrate the City of Lace and its textiles through different eras.
A city map of Plauen from 1911, when the city lived through the peak of lace production, is turned into a lace pattern and leads visitors through the ground floor. This and many lace patterns will be placed on the floor and ceiling and used for several interior design elements. The graphic design concept for the exhibition proposes the use of a stencil font, referring to the cut-out principles of industrial lace textiles.

EU European Regional Development Fund helps KOKO architects to fulfill our export development plan for 2016-2017.