Since its foundation in 1815, the Stadel Museum has continually expanded its holdings by purchasing an active acquisition policy. The collection presently encompasses some 2,900 paintings, 600 sculptures, 500 photographs and more than 100,000 drawings and prints. With this rich inventory, the Stadel presents a survey of seven hundred years of European art history from the early fourteenth century to the Renaissance, the Baroque, early modern art and the present.
The latest extension of the Stadel museum, one of the most well know art Museums in Germany, by Schneider Schumacher Architekten, opened last April. The additional 2,600 sq m of exhibition space is dedicated to contemporary art. The architects won an international competition in 2008 with their design concept of placing the new museum hall underneath the Stadel garden instead of above ground like former extensions.
The height of the exhibition hall ranges from 6 to 8.2 meters and 195 circular skylights supply the underground area with natural light. The freely shaped concrete ceiling shell rests on only twelve iner columns as well as on the surrounding reinforced concrete walls of the rectangular subterranean structure measuring about 76m x 52 m. The ceiling curves upwards forming a dome shape with a height of up to 2.26 m in a central area of approximately 26. x 26m.