The ideas competition was held to generate possible solutions to a new museum building and its urban integration into the Kulturforum. It looked for suggestions on how to integrate a new museum building into the Kulturforum site and how the new building could focus and refine the urban planning situation, and encourage people to spend more time in the site’s open spaces.
The design competition focuses much more strongly on the new museum building itself. The spaces must be designed for art, they must facilitate the inner organization of a museum and its functionality; these requirements are formulated in much more detail. But the design competition will not neglect the new building’s interplay with the surrounding architecture in the Kulturforum.
The jury meetings are not open to the public. The jury must be able to discuss the designs openly and controversially. This can only happen in a private place.
The decision on the funding and operational model will be made after the design competition is finished. The law stipulates that various models must be considered for all major construction projects. Regardless of which model is chosen, the planners are requested to provide services up to at least service phase 5 and artistic direction.
Works of Art and Collections
In the future, 20th century art will be shown in both the Neue Nationalgalerie and the new museum building. In the past, the works were exhibited in the Neue Nationalgalerie or they were consigned to the storerooms.
The Neue Galerie was set up in the Hamburger Bahnhof - Museum für Gegenwart - Berlin (Hamburger Bahnhof – Museum for Contemporary Art – Berlin) so that visitors could view the Nationalgalerie's (National Gallery’s) classical modern art collection during the renovation of the Mies van der Rohe building and until the new building opens.
After the Neue Nationalgalerie was closed, all of its contents were removed. Along with about 1,500 works of art, all of the furnishings – in part, original furniture from the 1960s – had to leave the building.
The building is now being dismantled down to the shell. By the end of the year (2016), tens of thousands of pieces – from wardrobes and railings to electrical outlets and light switches – will have been dismantled, inventoried, packed and stored or restored.
The Staatliche Museen zu Berlin (National Museums in Berlin) reports regularly on the Neue Nationalgalerie construction site in its “Museum and the City” blog.
The Kunstbibliothek and the Kupferstichkabinett will receive additional exhibition space in the new museum building. Both buildings will remain in their current locations at the Kulturforum. The exhibition areas in the new museum building will be more like “display windows” for these collections.
If possible, the visitors should not walk through a narrow tunnel from one building to the other. Ideally they will encounter art again right after leaving the Neue Nationalgalerie.
Urban Planning Situation
The purpose of the selected competition process is to complete the construction plans within a reasonable time frame. Moreover, there is an urgent need for additional exhibition space due to the lack of space in the Neue Nationalgalerie.
It would only have made sense to hold a preceding urban planning competition encompassing the entire Kulturforum site if the means to implement the plans were already available. It would neither be fair nor expedient to commission urban planning designs from architects for the Kulturforum knowing that they could not be implemented. Furthermore, urban planning measures such as the relocation of Potsdamer Straße would postpone the realization of the museum project to the distant future.
With his cityscape concept, Scharoun wanted to place structures in a free and rhythmical arrangement on a given site. He intended the spaces to merge openly and in general to create a flowing impression. The new museum building’s primary purpose is to order and clarify the overall situation at the Kulturforum. It should place the existing buildings (Neue Nationalgalerie, Philharmonie, St. Matthäus-Kirche (St. Matthew Church), Staatsbibliothek (State Library) and museums in a new, coherent relationship to each other. In this sense, the new building will be able to further develop the concept of the cityscape.
The Valentien + Valentien open space concept is already being implemented. During the competition’s evaluation period, it will be re-examined and adapted if necessary, depending on the design.