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The "Colour Wall" by Burghard Müller-Dannhausen in the Rems-Murr-Klinikum hospital complex in Winnenden, Germany:

Space shows its true colours

An artist takes up the colour concept of a newly erected clinic and evolves it further.

Winnenden, Germany, October 2014: In the new Rems-Murr-Klinikum hospital complex, which was completed this summer, the artist and painter Burghard Müller-Dannhausen takes up the colour concept developed by the architects Hascher Jehle and makes it come alive through the language of art. He thereby opens up the communicative potential of the architecture. By closely following the architectural concept he intensifies the building identity and promotes the identification of the people with their clinic.

Hasher Jehle's colour concept is based on the triad of yellow, green, orange. These primary colours define the external impression presented by the outside of the building. In the interior of the building this principle of the primary colours is continued, but adapted to the requirements of a hospital complex by the colours being slightly subdued and lightened. This is the basis for the "Colour Wall", a mural covering an area some two storeys high and nearly 180 metres long on the northern side of the main axis. The Colour Wall welcomes the visitor in the lobby and guides him to the individual parts of the building: The yellow, the green and the orange pavilions. The Colour Wall thereby supports the sense of orientation.

A jury decided in favour of the concept in an open public art contest and therefore clearly for colour as the media of common denominator between art and architecture. Burghard Müller-Dannhausen recognised within the architecture of the axis the motif of the path. The path as a process of healing or awareness became the source of inspiration for the design of a path of colour.

The Colour Wall is made up from countless colour fields. The triad is split into three times fifteen colour nuances which orchestrate the primary colours - through careful differentiation, but also through complementary tensions. The colour fields follow the steps of the passer-by, but respond to its regularity with an exciting rhythm. The distance traversed becomes the path. The horizontal interruptions also relate to mankind as the measure of all things. A consistent structure of fields organises the colours with geometric boundaries. The clear geometry avoids any reminiscences of the organic, as the hospital is a highly sensitive frame of reference for visual impressions. Anything seen as organic quickly evokes pathological associations. Geometry, however, creates neutrality which allows the afflicted patient, visitor or staff the chance to take a refreshing deep breath. It shows a change between upright or slightly diagonal which breathes a degree liveliness into the Colour Wall and therefore makes it appear like a gently moving curtain or grass and reeds caught in a light breeze.

The Colour Wall opens up a dialogue between interior design and painting. By taking up and intensifying the architect's concept the painter has enabled the space and the people to enter a relationship. The space itself changes the experience of the people through its structure. The people accept the space as their hospital, in which they endure, hope or work. The painting intensifies the building identity, especially in the interior or the hospital.


All pictures: Burghard Müller-

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Burghard Müller-Dannhausen, born 1947 in Hildesheim, Germany, pupil of Johannes Schreiter at the Hochschule für Bildende Künste in Frankfurt, lives and works in Koblenz. Countless exhibitions in museums and art associations. Completed public art projects: Luther Lawfirm Cologne, Grand Hyatt New York City. Further information:

The Rems-Murr-Klinikum hospital complex in Winnenden is a hospital of centralised care and provision with more than 600 beds. It was built between 2009 and 2014. Together with the Rems-Murr-Klinik in Shorndorf the hospital provides the stationary and A&E medical treatment for more than 400,000 people in the region. The hospital has specialist departments for internists, surgery, neurology, cardiology, obstetrics and gynaecology, paediatrics, urology as well as ENT. More information can be found at: