The Neue Nationalgalerie in Berlin’s Kulturforum is one of the icons of wentiethcentury architecture.
The only building realised by Mies van der Rohe in Europe after his emigration to the USA, the Neue Nationalgalerie has been dedicated to the art of the twentieth century since its opening in 1968.
After almost 50 years, the damage, deficiencies and deficits of intensive use are to be carefully and sustainably addressed, within the restrictions imposed by the building’s status as a listed monument.
The refurbishment and modernisation aims for maximum preservation of the existing fabric, with minimum visual compromise to the building’s original appearance. In order to upgrade the services to current museum standards, the stone cladding and all the interior fittings must first be dismantled.
Tens of thousands of original building components are being removed and restored, before being reinstalled in their precise original positions.
The services being updated include air-conditioning, artificial lighting, security, and visitors’ facilities, including cloakroom, café and museum shop, as well as improving disabled access and art handling.
The key to the complex planning process for this project is finding a balance between the requirements of current museum usage and the importance of the Neue Nationalgalerie as a listed monument.
Though the essential new interventions remain subordinate to the existing design of the building, they are nevertheless discreetly legible as contemporary elements.
The refurbishment does not represent a new interpretation, but rather a respectful repair of this landmark of the International Style. Source by David Chipperfield Architects Berlin.
- Location: Berlin, Germany
- Architect: David Chipperfield Architects Berlin
- Project architects: David Chipperfield, Martin Reichert, Alexander Schwarz (Design lead)
- Project team: Daniel Wendler and Michael Freytag (Concept design to Technical design, Site design supervision) Marianne Akay-Arslantepe, Alexander Bellmann, Thomas Benk, Martina Betzold, Matthias Fiegl, Anke Fritzsch, Dirk Gschwind, Anne Hengst, Martijn Jaspers, Cyril Kriwan, Franziska Michalsky, Maxi Reschke, Elke Saleina, Joshua Saunders
- Executive architect: BAL Bauplanungs und Steuerungs GmbH, Berlin (Procurement, construction supervision)
- Project management: Kerstin Rohrbach
- Restoration consultant: Pro Denkmal GmbH, Berlin
- Structural engineer: GSE Ingenieurgesellschaft mbH Saar, Enseleit und Partner, Berlin
- Services engineer: Ingenieurgesellschaft W33 mbH with Domann Beratende Ingenieure GmbH, Berlin
- Building physics: Müller-BBM GmbH, Berlin
- Acoustic consultant: Akustik-Ingenieurbüro Moll GmbH, Berlin
- Fire consultant: HHP West Beratende Ingenieure GmbH, Bielefeld
- Façade consultant: DS-Plan, Stuttgart
- Lighting consultant: Arup Deutschland GmbH, Berlin
- Landscape architect: TOPOS Stadtplanung Landschaftsplanung Stadtforschung, Berlin
- Client: Stiftung Preußischer Kulturbesitz represented by
the Bundesamt für Bauwesen und Raumordnung
Staatliche Museen zu Berlin
- Gross floor area: 13,900 m2
- Opening: 2020
- Photographs: Ute Zscharnt, Courtesy of David Chipperfield Architects Berlin
Article by Marco Rinaldi