Kulturforum in Berlin: How the museum of the 20th century should look

Picture: Herzog & de Meuron

Kulturforum in Berlin

What the museum of the 20th century should look like

03/29/21 | 6:19 pm

The Museum of the 20th Century is due to open at the Berlin Kulturforum in 2026 – with top-class works of art. The plans for the hundreds of millions of expensive new building have been updated. Maria Ossowski looked at how the museum should look exactly.

After all, the excavation pit has been dug at the Kulturforum in Berlin. But it will be another five years before the Museum of the 20th Century opens its doors. On Monday, the builders and architects published their specific plans for the building. A new name has also been determined: the original so-called Museum der Moderne is no longer called that. The “Museum of the 20th Century” is being built at the Kulturforum.

“Modernity, western modernism, with its canon, with its belief in progress is a purely western construct,” explains Joachim Jäger, the director of the Nationalgalerie, about the renaming. “The works from the GDR tell from a different perspective – quite apart from the art of other continents.” The name “Museum of the 20th Century” reflects this better.

This museum will house ten thousand works from the collections of the Nationalgalerie as well as from the private collections of Ulla & Heiner Pietzsch, Erich Marx and Egidio Marzona.

This museum will house ten thousand works from the collections of the Nationalgalerie as well as from the private collections of Ulla & Heiner Pietzsch, Erich Marx and Egidio Marzona.

This museum will house ten thousand works from the collections of the Nationalgalerie as well as from the private collections of Ulla & Heiner Pietzsch, Erich Marx and Egidio Marzona.

This museum will house ten thousand works from the collections of the Nationalgalerie as well as from the private collections of Ulla & Heiner Pietzsch, Erich Marx and Egidio Marzona.

This museum will house ten thousand works from the collections of the Nationalgalerie as well as from the private collections of Ulla & Heiner Pietzsch, Erich Marx and Egidio Marzona.

This museum will house ten thousand works from the collections of the Nationalgalerie as well as from the private collections of Ulla & Heiner Pietzsch, Erich Marx and Egidio Marzona.

This museum will house ten thousand works from the collections of the Nationalgalerie as well as from the private collections of Ulla & Heiner Pietzsch, Erich Marx and Egidio Marzona.

Status of planning for the Museum of the 20th Century at the Kulturforum, March 2021. (Source: Herzog & de Meuron)
This is what the main entrance to the museum along Potsdamer Strasse should look like.Picture: Herzog & de Meuron

The exhibition is structured around the main themes

This museum will house ten thousand works. On the one hand they come from the holdings of the Nationalgalerie, on the other hand they come from the top-class private collections of Erich Marx, Ulla and Heiner Pietzsch and Egidio Marzona. According to the Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation, the museum will present the works of art after four key areas:

Status of planning for the Museum of the 20th Century at the Kulturforum, March 2021. (Source: Herzog & de Meuron)
The use of clinker bricks is intended to create a reference to the brick facade of St. Matthew’s Church.Picture: Herzog & de Meuron

A building that takes a back seat

Even before construction began, the vernacular found a catchy term for the architecture of the museum: barn or Aldi supermarket. The designs by the Basel architects Herzog & de Meuron are geared towards trumping neither the icon of Mies van der Rohe’s Neue Nationalgalerie nor Scharoun’s Philharmonie. Bricks and huge light openings that reflect the surroundings characterize the exterior.

Architect Jacques Herzog said on Monday that the large gates were particularly important to him – “not just because they actually open onto the street like huge barn doors”. They are also “a gesture of opening”, just like actual gates, “which bring the inner workings to the outside”.

Status of planning for the Museum of the 20th Century at the Kulturforum, March 2021. (Source: Herzog & de Meuron)
Two intersecting boulevards form the heart of the museum inside. Picture: Herzog & de Meuron

“We will keep the costs”

Inside, stairs and visual axes with the materials concrete, wood and brick connect the various rooms in which the collections are exhibited. Boulevards that intersect form the heart of the interior. The key works such as Gerhard Richter’s “Birkenau” cycle on the first floor are on permanent display, otherwise the presentations refer to current topics. Thousands of exhibits will also move from the Kupferstichkabinett and the art library.

A compact building is being built at the Kulturforum, slimmer and more sustainable than planned in the first draft – the result of the optimization phase. Originally planned for 200 million euros, the costs have almost doubled in the planning for 2019. As the owner of the project, the Baden-Württemberg building administration emphasizes that the costs have now remained stable. At the end of 2019, 353 million euros had been approved, explains building director Emil Einig: “There is currently a current cost calculation that is at the same level. That means we will keep the costs.”

If you want to get a picture of the place where the Museum of the 20th Century is being built, you can do so using a webcam, which regularly photographs the construction site [nationalgalerie20.de]. In addition, the Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation will soon be inviting you to take a virtual tour. The first works of art that will be exhibited in the museum in five years can already be seen online [nationalgalerie20.de].

Broadcast: rbbKultur, March 29th, 2021, 4 p.m.


See also  How could the letters with the bullets and the knife get to the ministries without being intercepted?

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.