Arquitectura Viva
Monday, September 16, 2019
11/07/2019

David Chipperfield Architects, James Simon Galerie in Berlin

 
In continuity with Friedrich August Stüler’s forum architecture, the James Simon Galerie serves as the new entrance building for Museum Island, occupying the site where Karl Friedrich Schinkel’s Neuer Packhof building used to stand. A mostly underground ‘archaeological promenade’ connects all the island’s museums (with the exception of the Alte Nationalgalerie), respecting the individual character of each historical building.

Two volumes rise from the plinth. The plinth itself reinforces the Kupfergraben strand by means of a masonry wall crowned with large columns. The slender columns become the leitmotif of the famous sketch by Friedrich Wilhelm IV depicting his ‘cultural acropolis,’ while prolonging Friedrich August Stüler’s Kolonnadenhof, which embraces and delimits the Neues Museum and the Alte Nationalgalerie. The James Simon Galerie is accessed via a stately staircase that evokes the famous Hellenic altar in the Pergamon Museum, also in Museum Island. The material makeup of the building, with its use of reconstituted stone and its marble facade, answers a desire to blend into the polychrome material palette of Museumsinsel.
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