The 20th century museum is intended to house the collection of the New National Gallery, which has long been cramped in its building designed by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe (now this modernist monument is being restored by David Chipperfield).
The Herzog & de Meuron facility will appear nearby and complete the Kulturforum complex, the main art center in West Berlin. After the unification of Germany, the Museum Island pulled the center of gravity onto itself, however, it is at the Kulturforum near Potsdamer Platz that the famous Philharmonic is located - the unique building of Hans Scharun and the headquarters of the world's best orchestra, the Picture Gallery with a rich collection of old masters (architects Hilmer & Sattler und Albrecht) and another Sharun building - the State Library: known, among other things, as one of the "locations" of the "Sky over Berlin", this building is now being prepared for renovation according to the gmp project.
The new National Gallery in this row is the most difficult building to use. Its transparent facades make the display of works of art, for the most part sensitive to light, very complex, so its relatively small underground part was primarily used for exhibitions. The restoration will not fix this problem in any way, in addition, since the opening of the building in 1968, the gallery's collection has grown three times, which required, as a result, the construction of a new building.
The 20th century museum will house the collection of the New National Gallery, the collection of Egidio Marzona (he sold about a thousand works to the State Museums of Berlin, which includes the gallery, for a third of their market value) and Ulla and Heiner Peach. Also, in the new building (but regardless of the museum of art of the last century), the collections of Erich Marx and the Engraving Cabinet and the Art Library, which are part of the State Museums, will be shown. In general, permanent and temporary exhibitions of "classical" modernist art will be housed in the Mies building, and works of the second half of the 20th century - in the Herzog & de Meuron building.
The project that brought Jacques Herzog and Pierre de Meuron victory in the big competition in 2016 (Archi.ru
published his results here), remained practically unchanged in the course of subsequent development. “The large roof, archaic and still relevant, as well as quite clearly provocative form of the house seemed to us especially appropriate,” as the architects explain, for creating a “closed area of the city”, “boulevard”, where “everyday life, artistic experiments, performances and public debate will mix and stimulate each other."
Herzog stressed that the building was conceived for this particular place: you can see in these words a reaction to reproaches for the non-contextuality of its construction and the widespread use of the image of an archetype house in the work of HdM - as if Berlin got just another variation on this theme.
For context: the proportions of the roof are taken from the Old National Gallery on the Museum Island, the glass façade and public space are facing the Philharmonic, which can also be used by concertgoers. The building will be crossed by two public corridors - the very "boulevards", which, of course, is convenient: you will not have to bypass a large structure. Simplicity of forms is the answer to the sonorous neighborhood of Sharun and Mies.
Herzog especially stressed that the amount of the budget was carefully thought out and agreed upon by all participants in the process. This passage is clear against the background
huge budget overruns and delays in the opening of the Elbe Philharmonic in Hamburg by the same Herzog & de Meuron: this time they promise to do everything according to plan. The budget will amount to 364.2 million euros, another 52.2 million will be spent on indexing costs, and to cover risks - 33.8 million, a total of 450.2 million will be obtained. Now the project will be detailed and agreed upon, and preparatory work will begin on the site. Completion of construction is scheduled for 2026.