The Raketenstation used to be a Nato missile base. Building costs were shared by Nato member states as part of the organisation’s chain of air defences. Belgium took over the base in 1967 on behalf of the USA. After all troops withdrew in 1990 GSG9 (the German Federal Police’s anti-terrorism unit) made brief use of this site for training purposes.
In 1994 art-collector, patron, and founder of the Insel Hombroich Museum Karl-Heinrich Müller bought the missile base. As had previously been the case with the Museum Insel Hombroich he thereby established the basis for transforming the former Nato site into a place of culture, scholarship, and nature. Art thus acquired a new place for experimentation.
The halls, hangers, earth ramparts, and observation tower on the 13 hectare site were refurbished and restructured. For expansion of the area Karl-Heinrich Müller gained the support of other internationally celebrated artists and architects who worked alongside sculptor Erwin Heerich in an intermediate zone between architecture and sculpture: Raimund Abraham, Tadao Ando, Oliver Kruse, Katsuhito Nishikawa, and Alvaro Siza.
In 1997 Karl-Heinrich Müller founded the Stiftung Insel Hombroich, combining the Museum Insel Hombroich, the Kirkeby-Feld, and the Raketenstation. Today visual artists, writers, composers, and scholars from various countries and cultural backgrounds live and work in the former missile base.