The Mercedes-Benz Museum, specifically devised to showcase a collection in which technology, adventure, attractiveness and distinction merge, is also a museum for the city, a new landmark to celebrate the enduring passion of Stuttgarts most famous inventor and manufacturer.
The structure is based on a trefoil, both in its internal organisation and its outward expression. Inside, walking down the ramps the visitor is reminded of driving along the highway. Outside, the smooth curves of the building echo the rounded vernacular of nearby industrial and event spaces. The 25,000-m2 museum is situated next to the Daimler-Chrysler Untertuerkheim plant on a raised platform. From the northwest corner visitors enter the lobby, which contains the organisation system and distributes two types of exhibitions over three leaves, connected to a central stem in the form of an atrium.
From the lobby three lifts take visitors up to the top of the building, and from the starting point at level + eight it is possible to take one of two spiralling ramps down. The first chain links the collection of cars and trucks and the second the connecting Myths rooms, with the secondary displays related to the history of Mercedes-Benz. The two spiralling trajectories cross each other constantly, allowing the visitor to change from one to the other.
The downward incline of the two interlocking trajectories is confined to the ramps at the perimeter; the platforms that function as display areas are level, the gentle gradients of the walkways bridging the height differences between them. The combined collection of cars and trucks is shown on five plateaux. Seven plateaux show the Myths and, on the lower levels, Races and Records and the Fascination of Technology. At ground level, below the elevated landscape and accessed by the escalator at entrance level, several small shops and a restaurant are housed in a large open-plan space that connects the museum to the nearby vehicle centre.