Situation Kunst was designed as a museum quality art ensemble, which also creates a synthesis of architecture, nature and art. Adjacent to the park of the Weitmar House, the system works within the natural, scenic, and historical context of its surroundings, but also asserts itself in contrast to the existing environment by defining itself as a separate site.

The surrounding park is characterized by its very old and majestic trees including beech, oak, yew, chestnut, and redwood trees, some well over 400 years old. Younger specimens of these tree varieties are also to be found on the grounds of Situation Kunst.

Originally built in 1592, today the ruins “Haus Weitmar” still show characteristics of Westphalian Renaissance architecture. On May 13, 1943 the structure was partially destroyed by an air raid. Today, the newest extension of Situation Kunst, called KUBUS grows out of the ruins. This newest addition to Situation Kunst was inaugurated in a series of scientific and cultural events in spring of 2010.

In the immediate neighborhood of Situation Kunst are the ruins of the Sylvester Chapel, first mentioned in an archival document dating to 1397. The chapel features late Romanesque and early Gothic style architecture. After being renovated in the 19th century, it lost its function and fell into disrepair.


Even to the first time visitor the structure of the first part of the museum complex is clearly arranged and immediately visible. The four free-standing buildings are systematically arranged around a dark reflecting pool of water. The inside area of Situation Kunst opens up both topographically and in content on two levels. The structure of the lower level, with the four buildings is based on a 3 x 3 meter module system. This is centrifugally connected to the pool of water at this level with its 3 meters edge lengths. The distance between each building and this collection point are each dividable by 3 meters. Nevertheless the pool is not the geometric center of the lower level, rather a decentralized point of concentration.

The laterally situated access to the building and the lack of roads and signs support the non-hierarchic nature of the landscape and the overall architectural design.


The design of the upper level with the 2006 opened extension building and the wild flower meadow follows the module system. Four winter linden (Tilia cordata) trees are planted in a radius of 18 meters around a central light field, which forms a 3 x 3 meter square and serves as a counterpoint to the dark reflecting pool. The four trees were positioned in this way so they would meet in a superposition of the upper and lower levels respectively, symbolizing the foundations of a building structure.

The cultivation plan of Situation Kunst includes the so called ‘house trees’ which were carefully chosen and individually allocated for each building. These solitary trees, planted in 1987/88, standing as counterpoints to their allocated buildings. The four ‘house tree’ species are listed below: Building with the works of the four European artists: Ginkgo biloba - Ginkgo Nordman building: Metasequoia glyptostroboides - redwood forest Rabinowitch building: Fagus sylvatica Perdula – Beech tree Serra building: Liriodendron tulipifera - American tulip tree

In April 2012, the area of Situation Kunst has been enriched by a new but already well-known sculptural artefact: Under enormously technical and logistic effort has the bronze casting of the branch of a rare tree, the dwarf tree, been installed. The original branch, which had been presented in one one the baileys, at the opening of the extension building in 2006, was exposed to weather conditions. The natural relict with its complex structure was casted by the Noack foundry in Berlin - this way, the fading natural material wood is given new consistency.

The 300 to 400 year old dwarf tree of which the branch originated, was situated in the park of Haus Weitmar until its vandalisation by incendiary in 2000. International experts had already predicted a lifetime of another 300 to 400 years to the giant (approximately 35 meters of height and crown volume).The casted bronze branch is hardly to be distinguished from its original. The structure of the surface is just as fine and full of detail as the natural wood.



The buildings of Situation Kunst are puristic and functional, allowing the artworks to be presented in an optimal way.

Three of the four buildings were built at the first stage of construction (1988-1990), and each was developed for a piece of art forming an inseparable unit. These are the environments for the artists Maria Nordman, David Rabinowitch, and Richard Serra. The works themselves provided the conditions under which the building architecture was designed. An adjacent building contains a room featuring the work of European artists Gotthard Graubner, Norbert Kricke, Arnulf Rainer, & Jan J. Schoonhoven. The buildings of the first stage were planned by the Bochum architect Peter Forth, who died in spring of 1987 during the realization Situation Kunst. The architectural legacy of Peter Forth can be found in the city archives in Bochum.


With the opening of the extension building in September 2006, the total exhibition space nearly doubled. The planning and realization of this building is a credit to the architects Soan Gido Hülsmann and Dirk Boländer from Bochum and Warburg.

In this building you will find works by Ad Reinhardt, Robert Ryman, Jan J. Schoonhoven, Grace YT Tong, Richard Serra, Lee Ufan, François Morellet, & Gianni Colombo, as well as ancient Asian and African art.

The extension building KUBUS, opened in May 2010, was designed by the architects Pfeiffer, Ellermann and Preckel from Lüdinghausen and emerges from the ruins of the Weitmar House.