Museum of Modern Art – 2016

The new museum building is intended to build a close relationship with the neighboring style icon, but, at the same time, to convey its own expression. This is achieved not only by means of abstraction but also by alienation – and thus it is a result of dealing with urban space and the specific history of the place itself. The museum building mediates between the buildings oriented along the street: the New National Gallery and the large forms of the Philharmonic, the Chamber Music Hall and the State Library. This is achieved by the precise positioning of building elements and through consistent height groupings, based on the surrounding buildings. The proportioned façade structure suggests a fluid transition from inside to outside. The façade elements, which formally allude to the ancient column, look like a curtain from a distance. At the same time, this effect makes the actual size of the building ambiguous for the observer and arouses curiosity about the interior of the museum.

The museum forecourt is raised slightly above the street level. This spatial principle, borrowed from the Neue Nationalgalerie, not only creates a harmonious balance between the two buildings, but also serves the purpose of the museum: climbing the pedestal celebrates the step from the everyday world into the world of art. The museum forecourt and foyer form a spatial unity that allows both views of the urban space and insights into the interior of the museum. The museum building can also be crossed without entering the exhibition areas, creating a close link between the museum and the urban fabric. The design of the exhibition areas focuses less on formal aspects, and instead on the proportions of the rooms and their spatial relationship with each other, allowing both a sequential circulation as well as a high degree of flexibility for curation.

Architect : Jan Kleihues with Johannes Kressner

Location : Potsdamer Straße, Berlin

Client : Stiftung Preußischer Kulturbesitz

Competition : 2016

GFA : 27.943 m²

Type of use: Museum