The modern Mercedes-Benz Museum in Stuttgart-Bad Cannstatt brings 120 years of automotive history to life. 1500 exhibits - including 160 vehicles - illustrate the development of the automobile from the very first horseless carriage to the modern limousine. Fascinating exhibits on view include for instance the very first Daimler automobile dating back to 1886, the legendary "Silver Arrow" or the "Popemobile" used to convey Pope John Paul II.
The building's architecture was designed to reflect the purpose of the museum, which sets out not only to portray the history of the Mercedes-Benz brand but also to open up future perspectives. The "UNStudio" by Dutch architects Ben van Berkel and Caroline Bos addresses this aspiration with a design which is both contemporary and mindful of tradition: The inside of the building is designed to represent the DNA spiral with its double helix shape which carries the human genome. This double helix is conceived to allow different two circular tours within the museum, tying in with the exhibition concept conceived by Büro hg Merz.
The two circular tours entitled "Myth" and "Collections" start from the top floor. Visitors can swap backwards and forwards between the two routes on any floor. The Myth tour recounts the history of the Mercedes-Benz brand in a kind of journey through time, from the beginnings of automotive invention through to global expansion in the present. The collection rooms exhibit the different vehicles against the context of their various uses: The "Gallery of Helpers", for instance, is dedicated to vehicles used by the fire brigade and emergency services.
The "Silver Arrows - Races & Records" exhibition provides a final and emotive conclusion to the museum tour. What is perhaps the most impressive room in the museum brings together the attributes which characterize the Mercedes-Benz Museum - the fascination of technology, grace and beauty in design, enthusiasm for the history of a legendary brand.