Refurbished Neue Nationalgalerie reopens in Berlin

31 August 2021
  • Simon Menges
  • Simon Menges
  • Simon Menges
  • Simon Menges

David Chipperfield Architects Berlin




David Chipperfield restores iconic Mies van der Rohe building

The Neue Nationalgalerie in Berlin has re-opened to the public the day after an official ceremony on 21st August to mark the completion of its recent refurbishment. 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. Following almost fifty years of intensive use, the listed building required a comprehensive refurbishment. Tenderstream member David Chipperfield Architects Berlin was appointed to restore the existing building fabric and upgrade it to current technical standards, with a minimum of visual compromise to its original appearance. 

The key to the complex planning process was finding a suitable balance between monument conservation and the building’s use as a modern museum. Unavoidable interventions to the existing fabric had to be reconciled with preserving as much of the original substance as possible. The designers sought to create essential additions that were subordinate to the building’s existing structure, while remaining discreetly recognisable as contemporary elements. 

The 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. 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. 

After six years of construction, dismantling, restoring and reinstalling the building’s original components, the project completed in April 2021.

Lucy Nordberg
Tenderstream Head of Research

This tender was first published by Tenderstream on 04.10.2011 here

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