Ten Teams Qualified for the Next Round

Architects from around the world were invited to participate in the ideas competition for Nationalgalerie20 at the Kulturforum from September to December 2015. A total of 460 teams of architects and landscape architects submitted their designs. The jury met from February 8 to 10, 2016 and awarded prizes to ten designs. The prizewinners qualified for the subsequent design competition. In order to keep the ensuing process anonymous, the names of the prizewinning firms will not be revealed until the conclusion of the entire competition.

The competition’s goal was to choose an architectural design for a museum building and the integration of its urban and open space into the Kulturforum. Therefore, the submissions were to focus on the outer appearance as much as the spatial arrangement inside the museum, and the connection between the new museum building and the urban space that envelops it.

Model 1006 in the site model, view from Potsdamer Straße (photo)
Model 1006 in the site model © the designer / lindner-fotograf.de

Design No. 1006

Excerpt from the jury’s written evaluation:

“The design proposes an elongated structure along Potsdamer Strasse for the Museum of the 20th Century. This urban concept makes it possible to unlock the space in the Kulturforum between the Philharmonie and the Kammermusiksaal (Chamber Music Hall), the Neue Nationalgalerie and St. Matthäus-Kirche (St. Matthew Church). In addition, the Staatsbibliothek (State Library) comes into view by virtue of the open space over the relatively low building. But the prominent position of the elongated building reduces the effect of the Nationalgalerie (National Gallery) on Potsdamer Strasse.

It gives a special quality to Scharounplatz, which shows the way into the depths of the Kulturforum toward the Gemäldegalerie (Old Master Paintings) and the Kunstbibliothek (Art Library).”

Model 1031 in the site model, view from Potsdamer Straße (photo)
Model 1031 in the site model © the designer / lindner-fotograf.de

Design No. 1031

Excerpt from the jury’s written evaluation:

“The authors propose a building ensemble for the Museum of the 20th Century. The structure has great potential – especially in terms of museum organization – in that it enables the clear assignment of functions to individual museum areas, as well as their use in a wide variety of exhibition spaces. As inspiring as this solution is in view of the museum’s interior, it is just as challenging for the urban context in how it occupies the construction site. Positioning the individual ensemble buildings and their height development require a sensitive relationship to the existing buildings, especially when it comes to dealing with the key sightlines.”

Model 1115 in the site model, view from Potsdamer Straße (photo)
Model 1115 in the site model © the designer / lindner-fotograf.de

Design No. 1115

Excerpt from the jury’s written evaluation:

“The authors propose a low, hall-like building that encompasses almost all of the site. It arranges itself between the iconic individual structures without competing with them.

By presenting itself as an exhibition warehouse, the design bows to the Neue Nationalgalerie. The Museum of the 20th Century subordinates itself, allocating a central conceptual role to the Mies van der Rohe building for the future as well. The proposal is attractive in that it joins a museum concept to the Neue Nationalgalerie that could make a whole new understanding of museums possible in its implementation. But the design is not productive enough for its central urban location. It restricts the view of the Neue Nationalgalerie from Potsdamer Strasse.”

Model 1144 in the site model, view from Potsdamer Straße (photo)
Model 1144 in the site model © the designer / lindner-fotograf.de

Design No. 1144

Excerpt from the jury’s written evaluation:

“The wings of the new museum building are set on angular axes that divide the Kulturforum into three different outside areas. The intersection and shifting of the main axes is recognized as an appropriate means of structuring the space between the monuments of the 20th century on the one hand. On the other hand, the design respects the monuments’ representative presence. It prevents unnecessary competition between the new building and the existing buildings. The right-angled urban spatial composition naturally leads visitors to both the Neue Nationalgalerie and to the Scharoun buildings and Gemäldegalerie. However, the extension of the east-west axis as a roof structure towards the Piazzetta appears to be questionable.”

Model 1151 in the site model, view from Potsdamer Straße (photo)
Model 1151 in the site model © the designer / lindner-fotograf.de

Design No. 1151

Excerpt from the jury’s written evaluation:

“The designers developed a tripartite, tiered arrangement of linear buildings parallel to Potsdamer Strasse. A fourth element – a stone plaza – encircles St. Matthäus-Kirche. With the proposed sunken courtyard and the clever way the main building recedes to the line of the Neue Nationalgalerie, the relationships of the existing buildings remain the same in the street area.

The distance to the street makes it possible to draw attention to the new museum’s main entrance opposite the Staatsbibliothek entrance, which is appropriately accented by a broad access bridge. But the proposed linear consistency means that the existing sycamore tree will have to be removed.”

Model 1155 in the site model, view from Potsdamer Straße (photo)
Model 1155 in the site model © the designer / lindner-fotograf.de

Design No. 1155

Excerpt from the jury’s written evaluation:

“The new building takes on the role of a mediator; it orders the existing arrangement of the Kulturforum and makes the urban planning situation more composed. It creates a sequence of open spaces that are allocated to the individual buildings and that give the ensemble a new urban scale.

In the distinction in the height development and the plan shape, the building is integrated into the ensemble of existing individual structures. The tower-like elevation on the northwest corner gives the new building an urban presence without competing with the existing structures. From the projection on the northeast corner, the building leads into the depths of the space. Extending the site to the north would develop further possibilities for the design.”

Model 1281 in the site model, view from Potsdamer Straße (photo)
Model 1281 in the site model © the designer / lindner-fotograf.de

Design No. 1281

Excerpt from the jury’s written evaluation:

“The authors have developed a convincing concept with an accessible base platform that divides up the currently inhospitable urban space. Instead of another massive form, the platform is constructed on different levels, allowing various small squares that act as open rooms. But this makes the new building recede from an urban planning perspective. The entrance is limited in the extent to which it can provide an address for the new building.

The differing levels in height that can be discerned outside continue inside as exhibition levels of differing heights. This creates beautiful and nuanced spaces. The design’s inner development is a reference to connection to the Neue Nationalgalerie.”

Model 1300 in the site model, view from Potsdamer Straße (photo)
Model 1300 in the site model © the designer / lindner-fotograf.de

Design No. 1300

Excerpt from the jury’s written evaluation:

“The authors propose a horizontal volume in contrast to the wide and open space currently existing at the Kulturforum. They arrange a slender, vertical high-rise perpendicular to Potsdamer Strasse, creating an urban landmark. From an urban planning perspective, the project is an impressive linear structure between the Philharmonie and the Neue Nationalgalerie. At the same time, the new museum radiates its own identity and creates urban balance.

The position of this tower directly on Potsdamer Strasse should be questioned from an urban planning perspective, as it blocks the view between the Neue Nationalgalerie and the Philharmonie.

Model 1358 in the site model, view from Potsdamer Straße (photo)
Model 1358 in the site model © the designer / lindner-fotograf.de

Design No. 1358

Excerpt from the jury’s written evaluation:

“The design’s precise placement succeeds in restructuring the Kulturforum into a coherent urban area. It retains the sightlines, but reroutes them. The elongated building also creates an open area and entrance on Potsdamer Strasse that refer to the Staatsbibliothek. The important east-west direction between the Piazzetta and Potsdamer Strasse is augmented by means of landscape architectural measures. But adapting to the scale of the surrounding structures means that two basement levels must be included.

The orientation of the main interior access refers to the planned connection to the Nationalgalerie and is conceived as a generous staircase – as the cross-section indicates.

Model 1361 in the site model, view from Potsdamer Straße (photo)
Model 1361 in the site model © the designer / lindner-fotograf.de

Design No. 1361

Excerpt from the jury’s written evaluation:

“The design’s ground plan structure is clearly oriented toward the structure of the Neue Nationalgalerie. The new building subordinates itself to the existing building without adapting to it.

The design’s unique quality lies in the extreme restraint of its visible structural presence. The one-story building frames the courtyard, delineating the public space of the Museum of the 20th Century toward Potsdamer Strasse but also toward the Kulturforum. In this way, the courtyard becomes a quiet, sheltered outdoor area. But opening the courtyard only toward the Piazzetta should be reconsidered. Moreover, orienting the height strictly to the height of the Neue Nationalgalerie’s base is not considered to be manditory.”