The former department store Schoken in Chemnitz is one of the few remaing buildings by Erich Mendelsohns in Germany.
Not being suitable as a modern shopping center it was transformed to house the State Museum of archaeology.
The emphasis of the renovation concept was on retaining the appearance of the world famous listed building yet creating a suitable exhibition space compatible with the museum requirements. Remaining within Mendelsohns original triangular floor plan concept, the sales floors were transformed into exhibition spaces. At the top of the triangle a slightly sloping ramp was installed which is connecting the different archiologial aeras and makes them easly accessible for the visitors.
Mendelsohns architectural historically significant, elaborately constructed illusion of a facade without visible supports was maintained. An inserted room enclosure, set back from the facade is giving the necessary shield the exhibition rooms required, without disturbing the original visuals of the structure. The iconography of the building is remainig despite the new purpose. A section of the museum is dedicated to an exhibition about the life and works of architect Erich Mendelsohn, the history of the department store and the family Schocken.