Progress on Neue Nationalgalerie in Berlin

17 December 2020
  • BBR/Thomas Bruns

David Chipperfield Architects




Refurbished roof and façade revealed on historic museum

The roof and façade of the Neue Nationalgalerie in Berlin has been revealed for the first time in several years, marking an important step on the way to the museum’s re-opening. The only building realised by Mies van der Rohe in Europe after his emigration to the USA, the museum is one of the icons of twentieth-century architecture and has been dedicated to the art of the twentieth century since its opening in 1968. David Chipperfield Architects Berlin was appointed to refurbish the building in 2012, with a remit to refurbish and modernise the structure while aiming for maximum preservation of the existing fabric and minimum visual compromise to its original appearance.

In order to upgrade the services to current museum standards, the stone cladding and all the interior fittings were dismantled in 2015/16. Tens of thousands of original building components are undergoing removal and restoration, after which they will be reinstalled in their precise original positions. Air-conditioning, artificial lighting, security, and visitors’ facilities such as the cloakroom, café and museum shop will also be upgraded, together with measures to improve accessibility and art handling for visitors with disabilities. 

The key to the complex planning process for the project was 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, the designs for the refurbishments are intended to be discreetly legible as contemporary elements. 

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the key handover ceremony for the building was recently postponed to April 2021. The building is expected to re-open to the public in August 2021.

Lucy Nordberg
TenderStream Head of Research

This competiton was first published by TenderStream on 04.10.2020 here

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