Stefan Wewerka, Wewerka Pavillon, 1987, 51°57'10.2"N 7°36'16.08

Stefan Wewerka, Wewerka Pavillon, 1987


Stefan Wewerka (1928–2023) is known for his almost deconstructivist approach to the everyday. During his creative period spanning almost six decades he used virtually every artistic medium and means of expression there is: originally coming from architecture, Wewerka worked as an interior architect, designer and fashion designer, but was also a sculptor, painter and graphic artist, filmmaker, object and action artist. His multimedia work—consistently executed in his typical style—commented on and influenced the artistic developments of his time. For the people of Münster, however, he is probably best known for the Wewerka Pavilion by the Aasee (Lake Aa).

Here, an interest in architecture merges with the creation of a unique exhibition space. A noteworthy feature of the pavilion’s construction history is that it was realized twice: initially in 1985 on the site of TECTA-Möbel KG’s company headquarters and then in 1987 under the title documenta Pavilion for documenta 8 in Kassel. It is the latter version that stands by the Lake Aa in Münster today. After the exhibition in 1989, the owner—the TECTA company—lent it to the City of Münster for an indefinite period.1 In return, the City of Münster is responsible for its preservation and maintenance. Since its installation in Münster in 1989, the pavilion has been used by the Kunstakademie Münster as a permanent exhibition venue. Based on this format students are given the opportunity to realize their own projects and gain experience in exhibiting their work.

The cuboid sculpture consists of glass panes set into a steel structure and covered with a “fish-belly girder ceiling”—a term Wewerka himself coined for this construction. The resulting permeability of light and environment dissolves existing architectural boundaries, lending the construction an ephemeral quality and transforming the interior into a light-flooded exhibition space. At the same time, the building blends into its surroundings, absorbing them and reflecting them back. The singular architectural characteristic of the double function as a showcase and an independent sculptural object makes it possible for exhibited artworks to be seen from literally all perspectives from the outside—and thus be visible at all times.2 In 1992, Stefan Wewerka was awarded the BDA Münster (Association of German Architects) architecture prize for the pavilion.3

Wewerka was born into a family of artists; already his father had been a sculptor. He himself initially studied architecture at the Berlin Academy of Fine Arts after the Second World War. After his graduation, he worked in various architectural offices for some time before turning his attention entirely to the fine arts from the end of the 1950s. Throughout his life, he described himself as a sculptor and refused classification as a designer, surely resulting from his love of experimenting with furniture. However, at the latest since his collaboration with the furniture manufacturer TECTA in 1978, this attribution has stuck to his person. What Wewerka’s sculptural work has as a common trait is that it never loses touch with reality. Whether chairs, tables, coat hangers or even coins—the objects always remain recognizable despite the artistic intervention. It is rather the perspectives and functions that he overturned and completely rethought.

Jana Peplau

Loan from the company TECTA-Möbel KG


Cf. Wewerka-Archiv, Entwurfszeichnung für den Tecta-Pavillon [20 Oct. 2023].


Cf. Tecta. In: Wewerka Pavillon für Tecta [12 Nov. 2023].


Cf. Tecta: Stefan Wewerka [10 Oct. 2023].