Museum of the 20th Century

Extension of Neue Nationalgalerie, Berlin

Our design for the Museum of the 20th Century, the extension of the New National Gallery Berlin, strengthens the urban presence of the Kulturforum towards Potsdamer Strasse. The new building creates the scale counterpart to the State Library and the Berlin Philharmonic Hall that has been missing since reunification. At the same time, it frames the historic building edge along Matthäikirchplatz.

The guiding idea for the new museum building is the window to the city. As a mediator between urban and art space, it emphasizes the public character of the building. At the same time, it divides the floors longitudinally and opens the building with generous views to the Neue Nationalgalerie and the Philharmonie.

 The building has two main entrances. On the side facing Potsdamer Strasse, an elongated recess of the building leads to the foyer. Coming from Scharounplatz and Mathäikirchplatz, access is via the generous entrance terrace in front of the space-defining plane tree.

The facades consist of silver anodized aluminum panels and are designed in the base area as an interpretation of the Philharmonie’s facade pattern. On the floors above, the panels are doubled in scale and emphasize the soaring form of the structure.

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The spatial concept of the new museum building comprises four exhibition levels, which are divided into two spatially coherent areas. The two areas, the lower exhibition level and the first floor, as well as the areas on the first and second exhibition levels, can each be experienced as a unit via double-story rooms.

The floor levels are illuminated by two “city windows” that structure the exhibition parcours and invite visitors to linger with views of the Kulturforum and the surrounding city.

The exhibition areas are accessed via a central access core with a main staircase and elevators. Administration and restoration have a separate side elevator.

The art depot is divided into two parts. One part is located on the top floor of the building. The scientific administration and the restoration are also located there. The spatial proximity of these three functions promotes internal communication and efficiency of work. The second part is located on the lower exhibition floor.

The lighting of the exhibition areas with artificial light is provided by a grid ceiling with flexible lighting elements. The ventilation and air conditioning systems are also located within the suspended structure. Wall and floor areas are thus freed from any technology and allow a high flexibility and quality of use.

Architects: Jens Brinkmann
Landscape Architects: Siegfried Bacher
Collaborators: Cécile Bernard, Emily Pearce, Chiara Sanguin,
Mona Rahal, Francesca Klute
Renders: Thomas Saint-Guillain, Alessandra Roccia

United Architektur BDA
Wichertstraße 2
10439 Berlin

T: +49 (0) 30 308 740 26


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