The Neue Nationalgalerie in Berlin’s Kulturforum is the only building realised by Mies van der Rohe in Europe after his emigration to the USA. Since its opening in 1968, it has been considered one of the icons of twentieth-century architecture.
After almost 50 years of intensive use, the listed building required a comprehensive refurbishment and modernization. The existing fabric has been refurbished and upgraded to current technical standards with a minimum of visual compromise
to the building’s original appearance. The 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.
The necessity of an extensive repair of the reinforced concrete shell and the complete renewal of the technical building services required an in-depth intervention. The stone cladding and all the interior fittings were therefore completely dismantled in 2015/16. The original building components were removed and restored, before being reinstalled in their precise original positions.
The key to the complex planning process for this project was finding a suitable balance between the current museum requirements and the importance of the Neue Nationalgalerie as a listed monument. Though the essential new interventions remain subordinate to the existing design of the building, they are nevertheless discreetly legible as contemporary elements. The refurbishment project does not represent a new interpretation, but rather a respectful repair of this landmark building of the International Style.
Project start: 2012