herzog & de meuron reveals revised design for the museum of 20th century in berlin

herzog & de meuron reveals revised design for the museum of 20th century in berlin

after winning the competition to construct the museum of 20th century, a new addition to berlin’s famed kulturforum complex, herzog & de meuron has recently presented the revised design, developed together with the nationalgalerie, the staatliche museen zu berlin (the berlin state museums), and the stiftung preußischer kulturbesitz (the prussian cultural heritage foundation). located between the neue nationalgalerie and the berlin philharmonie, the nationalgalerie20 building takes the shape of an archetypal house, aiming at coexisting harmoniously with mies van der rohe and hans scharoun’s iconic structures.

herzog & de meuron reveals revised design for the museum of 20th century in berlinall images courtesy of herzog & de meuron




developed to house part of the nationalgalerie’s collections of 20th century art, the museum looks very different from each side, alluding to images of warehouses, barns, and railroad stations. ‘isn’t it more of a temple with exactly the same gable forms as those on the alte nationalgalerie designed by august stüler?’ ask the architects, ‘indeed, it is a place of storage like a warehouse, a place of supplies and nutriment like a working farm, and a place of encounter and connection like a station concourse. and – like a temple – it is also a place of silence and reflection, of the perception of art, of the perception of oneself.’ 



in terms of materiality, herzog & de meuron has drawn from matthäuskirche, the nearby brick church whose building material can be interpreted as a digital field and which yet retains something archaic, similar to the archetypal shape of the house. with several entrances and access points, the large gabled volume can be utilized at select locations within the scheme, and is oriented in all directions to establish a network of connections with the surrounding buildings and the city as a whole. ‘the gable end facing the philharmonie offers direct access to the media room,’ explains the basel-based firm, ‘this allows events to be held there outside the regular opening hours. (…) the quadrants can be reached individually, directly from the boulevards. at the same time, the exhibition spaces are connected internally, so that alternatively they can all be visited on a single circuit.’

herzog & de meuron reveals revised design for the museum of 20th century in berlin



the revised design for the museum of 20th century was presented in the presence of monika grütters, kulturstaatsministerin (minister of state for culture), and hermann parzinger, president of the prussian cultural heritage foundation, followed by a panel discussion and presentation of the project in the evening, open to all interested members of the public.the many reactions to the competition design in the media, from experts and the public alike, have shown how significant this project is, and served as a motivational force for its further development’, notes jacques herzog. ‘our urban planning concept for the kulturforum is a concept of density, not of emptiness. it organizes an interplay of buildings put into precise relation with each other. and it also initiates the interaction of the cultural institutions established in those buildings.’

    have something to add? share your thoughts in our comments section below.
    all comments are reviewed for the purposes of moderation before publishing.

    comments policy
    LOG IN
    designboom's comment policy guidelines
    generally speaking, if we publish something, it's because we're genuinely interested in the subject. we hope you'll share this interest and if you know even more about it, please share! our goal in the discussion threads is to have good conversation and we prefer constructive opinions. we and our readers have fun with entertaining ones. designboom welcomes alerts about typos, incorrect names, and the like.
    the correction is at the discretion of the post editor and may not happen immediately.

    what if you disagree with what we or another commenter has to say?
    let's hear it! but please understand that offensive, inappropriate, or just plain annoying comments may be deleted or shortened.

    - please do not make racist, sexist, anti-semitic, homophobic or otherwise offensive comments.
    - please don't personally insult the writers or your fellow commenters.
    - please avoid using offensive words, replacing a few letters with asterisks is not a valid workaround.
    - please don't include your website or e-mail address in your comments for the purpose of self-promotion.
    - please respect jury verdicts and do not discuss offensively on the competition results
    (there is only one fist prize, and designboom usually asks renown professionals to help us to promote talent.
    in addition to the awarded designs, we do feel that almost all deserve our attention, that is why we publish
    the best 100-200 entries too.)

    a link is allowed in comments as long as they add value in the form of information, images, humor, etc. (links to the front page of your personal blog or website are not okay). unwelcome links (to commercial products or services of others, offensive material etc. ) will be redacted. and, ... yes, spam gets banned. no, we do not post fake comments.


    a diverse digital database that acts as a valuable guide in gaining insight and information about a product directly from the manufacturer, and serves as a rich reference point in developing a project or scheme.

    architecture news

    keep up with our daily and weekly stories
    493,007 subscribers
    - see sample
    - see sample