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Porsche Museum opens in Stuttgart

Fri, 30 Jan 2009

Porsche will open the doors to its new museum in Stuttgart tomorrow, January 31. With a collection of 80 vehicles and three exhibit areas spanning the periods before and after 1948, the Porsche Museum includes an array of iconic vehicles and celebrates the outstanding technical achievements of Professor Ferdinand Porsche during the early 20th century.

Located in the Stuttgart suburb of Zuffenhausen, where Porsche produces the 911 model series and all of its engines, the new museum was designed by Vienna-based architectural firm Delugan Meissl - which beat 170 other firms in a race to design the building in 2004. The monolithic structure features nearly 5,600 square meters of exhibition space, providing room for historic vehicles such as the 356, 550, 911 and 917, and more than 200 displays from the company's history. The architects set out to create a place of sensuous experience that reflects the authenticity of Porsche products as well as the company's character.

Alongside the quintessential Porsche production and historic racing cars - such as the 959 that won the 1986 Dakar rally and the Formula 1 McLaren-TAG-Porsche that took Alain Prost to victory in 1986 - are also a number of concepts, including the Panamericana from 1989 and the 1993 Boxster.

The exhibition revolves around three core themes or elements: ‘Porsche Idea', ‘Product History' and ‘Thematic Islands'. The first focuses on specific technical solutions for challenges from nearly all areas of mobility, while Product History charts the history of Porsche sports cars from the company's naissance in 1948. Thematic Islands, meanwhile, highlights key aspects of the German carmaker's history. Some, like ‘Evolution 911,' are dedicated to specific model series, while others - such as the Le Mans display - bring together vehicles from different eras.

The backbone of the exhibition is made up of what Porsche calls the ‘Idea' section. This space links the other two main areas, and is designed to communicate the spirit and the passion that motivate the people behind the brand. There's also a Historical Archive, which bundles the entire spectrum of products in one location. Archived items include product history for all of Porsche's production and racing vehicles, design studies and in-house and third-party developments, as well as information about Porsche AG, its subsidiaries and associated companies. Added to this are an extensive media archive with more than 2.5 million images, 1,000 hours of motion picture materials and a library with more than 3,000 books on automotive subjects.

The structure also houses conference areas, a restaurant - integrated into the exhibition - and a roof terrace that overlooks the Porscheplatz below.

By Eric Gallina