Neue Nationalgalerie refurbishment by David Chipperfield Architects

Neue Nationalgalerie

The Neue Nationalgalerie in Berlin is an icon of twentieth-century architecture. Planned and built from 1963 to 1968, the steel and glass structure is the only building designed by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe in Europe after his emigration to the USA.

After almost fifty years of intensive use, the listed building required a comprehensive refurbishment. The existing fabric has been refurbished and upgraded to current technical standards with a minimum of visual compromise to the building’s original

The functional and technical upgrades include air-conditioning, artificial lighting, security, and visitors’ facilities, such as cloakroom, café and museum shop, as well as improving disabled access and art handling. The necessity of an extensive repair of the reinforced concrete shell and the complete renewal of the technical building services required an in-depth intervention.

In order to expose the shell construction, around 35,000 original building components, such as the stone cladding and all the interior fittings, were dismantled. After their restoration and modification where necessary, they were reinstalled in their precise original positions.

The key to the complex planning process for this project was finding a suitable balance between monument conservation and the building’s use as a modern museum. The unavoidable interventions to the original fabric within this process had to be reconciled with preserving as much of the original substance as possible.

Though the essential additions remain subordinate to the existing design of the building, they are nevertheless discreetly legible as contemporary elements. The refurbishment project does not represent a new interpretation, but rather a respectful repair of this landmark building of the International Style. Source by David Chipperfield Architects Berlin.

  • Location: Berlin, Germany
  • Architect: David Chipperfield Architects Berlin
  • Project controlling: KVL Bauconsult GmbH, Berlin
  • Partners: David Chipperfield, Martin Reichert, Alexander Schwarz
  • Project architects: Daniel Wendler and Michael Freytag (Concept design to Technical design, Site design supervision)
  • Project team: Marianne Akay, Thomas Benk, Matthias Fiegl, Anke Fritzsch, Dirk Gschwind, Anne Hengst, Franziska Michalsky, Maxi Reschke
  • Executive architect: BAL Bauplanungs und Steuerungs GmbH, Berlin (Procurement, construction supervision)
  • 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
  • Gross floor area: 13,900 m2
  • Completion: 2021
  • Photographs: Simon Menges, Courtesy of David Chipperfield Architects Berlin

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