The architecture of the Max Ernst Museum Brühl des LVR combines old and new elements. Designed by Cologne architects Thomas van den Valentyn and Seyed Mohammad Oreyzi, the modern glass pavilion is harmoniously integrated into the horseshoe floor plan of the historic building. The late-classicist building was erected in 1844, when the railroad between Cologne and Bonn was constructed. As a ballroom, it quickly became a popular destination and social venue. Max Ernst himself used to visit the “Brühler Pavillon” in his youth.
In 2001, a decision was made to make this place the home of the newly founded Max Ernst Museum. After its remodeling to make it suitable as a museum, the protected landmark was designated an “Exemplary Building in the State of North-Rhine Westphalia”. On September 4th, 2005, the Max Ernst Museum opened its doors to the public after two years of construction work. The extensive collection of Max Ernst’s art is exhibited on approximately 1,000 square meters in the old building, and the glass annex leads to the temporary exhibitions on approximately 500 square meters in the Luise Straus-Ernst Hall, as well as the multi-purpose event location, the Dorothea Tanning Hall, in the basement.