A completely new, internationally renowned museum of the life and environmental sciences and a forum for the future of science communication: BIOTOPIA. The climate crisis, pandemics and species extinction are presenting us with enormous challenges. As a communicative interface between international scientists, educational and research institutions, BIOTOPIA seeks solutions to restore the balance on our planet. It invites dialogue between science, art, culture, politics and the general public. In doing so, it makes Munich and Bavaria visible as a top science location and gives treasures of the Bavarian State Natural Science Collections (SNSB) a stage. BIOTOPIA encourages everyone to make a difference - with events, excursions, festivals and in the future museum, which, with its open visitor labs, children's museum, auditorium, event areas, flexible special exhibition spaces and attractive outdoor areas, will make people want to experience nature. Explore Life!
BIOTOPIA's vision is a more understanding, balanced and sustainable relationship between humans and other living things. BIOTOPIA is therefore intended to be a place for all ages and educational levels, inspiring to see the world from the perspective of other organisms. BIOTOPIA will be the first museum in the world to focus on behaviors, activities and processes. Thereby, we humans understand ourselves as part of the environment and feel responsible for our planet!
BIOTOPIA expands and transforms the popular Museum Mensch und Natur (Man and Nature), which was established in 1990 as a provisional facility in the north wing of Nymphenburg Palace and has long been unable to cope with the crowds of visitors in terms of space. In addition, it suffers from a poor museum infrastructure and cramped premises. BIOTOPIA enlarges the Museum Mensch und Natur, builds on its ideas and in doing so leads the classic natural history museum into the future with a new concept.
The exhibition concept is innovative as well: Visitors who enter the museum become researchers themselves in visitor labs and observatories and discover countless commonalities with other living beings on an interactive journey. Thus, the realization that everything is connected to everything else leads people to the most pressing questions of our time in a completely new way. BIOTOPIA's goal with the exhibition is to awaken visitors' natural curiosity, generate empathy for life and the environment, and encourage them to take the initiative themselves.
The new museum building for BIOTOPIA is being constructed on the north wing of Nymphenburg Palace, next to the existing Museum Mensch und Natur. The site is still occupied by a former institute building of the LMU: a plain building from the 1960s that is not suitable for museum use and is not a classified historical monument. The design by the renowned Berlin firm Staab Architekten blends in carefully with the surroundings and was completed with the intensive involvement of the Bavarian State Office for the Preservation of Historical Monuments. The location is ideally suited to establish an attractive nature-culture quarter that uses the enormous biodiversity of the neighborhood as a connecting point for natural history education.
Image left: Visualization of the new building © Staab Architekten
The issues of sustainability and energy efficiency play a central role in building planning for BIOTOPIA. According to the current planning status, BIOTOPIA's new building even exceeds the requirements of the newly enacted Building Energy Act (GEG 2020) by about 40 percent. The outdoor areas are also among BIOTOPIA's special ecological qualities: the extensively landscaped inner courtyard and the outdoor facilities support the enormous animal and plant biodiversity of the surrounding area, for example, through a wetland biotope and building botany.
Image left © Atelier Loidl Landscape Architects
BIOTOPIA will strengthen the region in terms of educational policy: The development of a Bavarian-wide network of natural history and environmental educational institutions is a central goal of BIOTOPIA. BIOTOPIA builds on the existing Bavarian Nature Education Network and will also bring together research institutions, schools, visitor and national park centers, environmental stations, botanical gardens, zoos and other institutions throughout Bavaria, which will be supported in PR and marketing, with mobile programs, traveling exhibitions and through the development of joint projects.
Bavaria's nature is incredibly diverse! Museums, botanical gardens, environmental, adventure and national park centers invite you to experience, explore, understand and protect Bavaria's nature. BIOTOPIA will establish a network with 10-15 network nodes throughout Bavaria in the next few years. Already now, interested people can inform themselves in the BIOTOPIA Lab and on the webiste about different institutions all over Bavaria and get inspired by their offers.
BIOTOPIA - Naturkundemuseum Bayern will transform the popular Museum Mensch und Natur in Munich Nymphenburg into a 21st century museum in the coming years. The design planning for the new museum of life sciences and environmental sciences has been completed - the current planning status for architecture, exhibition and concept was presented for the first time on 14.6.2021. All info on building, historic preservation, sustainability, traffic, costs and more in the video. [In German]