Built in 1979 to a late design by the then already deceased Walter Gropius, the building soon became insufficient in size for the rapidly growing congregation. Three years ago, the management of the archive and the senator for culture of the city of Berlin Thomas Flierl presented a preliminary project for the reconstruction of the complex for consideration by the authorities. It was decided to sell part of the site belonging to the cultural institute and thus finance the reconstruction.
SANAA proposed to place all new premises underground. This caused controversy among the members of the jury of the competition, but, in the end, the quality of the lighting scheme, the thoughtfulness of the plan for examining the exposition and its connection with the storage rooms inclined them in favor of the Japanese workshop project.
The layout provides for both large halls and small galleries, which will provide ample opportunities for organizing temporary exhibitions.
Next to the archive, on the site for sale, there will be an office building also designed by SANAA - a glazed translucent tower in the style characteristic of these Japanese architects.