The 'Museum der Phantasie' (Museum of Fantasy) in Bernried on Starnberger See houses the entire collection of Lothar-Günther Buchheim, best known as the author of Das Boot. This collection comprises, along with numerous important Expressionist paintings, folk objects, all kinds of curiosities and personal memoirs. The museums setting in the beautiful Bavarian landscape, its orientation and also its intrinsic order have lent themselves to a design that stretches like a spine along which the various building elements are located. Each element has been developed freely according to its function, its own order and shape. From almost every interior space the visitor is able to view and enter the landscape.
Compartmentalization and ideal viewing conditions, hallmarks of a conventional museum, take second place to connections to the surroundings, low-tech flexibility, and a casual but evocative juxtaposition of high and low art. Folk art and academic works are placed beside each other exactly as the Expressionists themselves had done in their studios. Fluid transitions lead from one part of the museum to another; shorter and longer round tours can be chosen via the two-storey spine and also via a return route through the park. The building elements have been deliberately kept lean: the trees, the lake and spatial variety, as well as the play of light and shadow, provide the appropriate context for the exhibited works.