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  • Adjusting, Radical Minimalism

    James-Simon-Galerie, Museumsinsel, Berlin

    Architect: David Chipperfield
    Text: György Szegő
    Photos: Stiftung Preussicher Kulturbesitz

    Established recently, the gallery based in Berlin creates contact with two museum buildings built in the 19th century that had previously only touched each other in a shifted position: Altes Museum was connected with the Neues Museum by Stüler via a bottleneck component. Now the new gallery took over this function. A couple of years ago David Chipperfield designed an accentuated main entrance to replace the previously subordinated relationship of the two museums with a long past, and now this function was completed with the gallery named after James Simon. Leaning onto the rustic masonry of the quay rampart, the entrance building reflects with a row of highly lightweight, slender pillars to the architecture of the revivalist Classic Colonnade. Both the external courtyard and the internal grand staircase serve Pergamon Museum, Neues Museum, the Alte Nationalgalerie and the Colonnade with imposing free-standing stairs. It creates such a public free space in which the architecture of indoors and outdoors blend with the new court opening into the waterfront in a genious manner.

    General design: David Chipperfield Architects
    Lead architect: David Chipperfield
    Architects: Martin Reichert, Alexander Schwarz
    Project architect: Urs Vogt
    Structure: Igb Ingenieurgruppe Bauen
    Building physics: MüLler-Bbm
    Fire consultant: Arge Brandschutz
    Lighting design: Conceptlicht, Traunreut
    Signage design: Polyform
    Landscape: Levin Monsigny Landschaftsarchitekten