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Museum of Modern Literature

Marbach am Neckar, Germany
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For the Museum of Modern Literature in Marbach, Germany, David Chipperfield Architects won the prestigious RIBA Stirling Prize. In nominating this building, the judging panel said that "Following re-unification, texts of German authors previously dispersed to east and west have been brought together in this new museum. The entrance sequence is brilliant. The visitor crosses an open terrace overlooking the valley, then negotiates a series of shallow steps to enter through giant hardwood doors. A staircase descends to the collections with their required diminishing light levels. The route concludes in the permanent collection. Here glass cases, containing original manuscripts, form a magical flickering landscape. There are many things to praise about this building - the architect's control and discrimination in the choice of materials has by now become a signature - but above all it is in the handling of the 'difficult whole' that the building excels."