Lenbachhaus is Munich's premier art gallery. It reopened in May 2013 after a four-year renovation of the original building (a late-19th-century Florentine-style villa for painter Franz von Lenbach), plus the addition of a modern wing designed by Norman Foster. The exterior of the new wing features striking, golden tubes. For Norman Foster fans, the museum's new exterior is iconic—a beautiful play on color, pattern, and geometry. Try to see it at sunset, when the tubes are seemingly more golden, rich, and alluring.
The Lenbachhaus redesign marries the old with the new, especially in the triple-height, sky-lit lobby atrium. Immediately upon stepping into the museum, your attention is drawn to what appears to be an enormous hanging icicle, which is in fact a specially commissioned work by Icelandic artist Olafur Eliasson called Wirbelwerk. The new wing serves as a "jewel box" for the museum's best-known works, the "Blue Rider" collection of 20th-century Expressionist art. There is also a new garden and a restaurant with an outdoor terrace.
With the addition of new galleries and a bold redesign, Lenbachhaus further cements its reputation as one of Bavaria's leading cultural centers.