In 1837 the return of the Residence from Ludwigslust to Schwerin created a need for imposing and functionally-sited barracks and stores for military technology and matériel. Georg Adolf Demmler directed the construction of the Arsenal and created a building in the style of Florentine palace architecture. It encloses two courtyards – a central projection links them visually to the tower superstructure – and includes the military hospital built in 1828 on the Wismarsche Strasse.

Over time the building served a variety of functions. Until 1865 some of the Grenadier Battalion were accommodated there; after the Second World War it was used as a refugee shelter and subsequently for various police institutions.

Since October 1990 the Arsenal has housed the Ministry of the Interior. In the course of the reconstruction and remodelling, between 1991 and 2005, the building was again painted red, in line with conservational research findings.