sábado, 21 de febrero de 2015

David Chipperfield promises to keep ‘as much Mies as possible’ at Neue Nationalgalerie

The restoration of the Neue Nationalgalerie in Berlin will cost an estimated €101m, Hermann Parzinger, the director of the Prussian Cultrural Heritage Foundation, announced yesterday, 21 January. This masterpiece by the architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, which opened in 1968, was closed in early January. Access to displays in the basement of the temple-like structure has already been closed since 31 December. Construction of the exterior will not be visible initially, as the five-year makeover will start inside the building.
David Chipperfield Architects has been entrusted with the refurbishment project, having found international acclaim for its work on rebuilding the Neues Museum on Museum Island in Berlin. The British architect pledged to “keep as much Mies as possible” at a symposium in late November. This was confirmed by the studio’s project manager, Daniel Wendler, at yesterday’s press conference. Original building elements, such as handrails and shelves, will be removed, restored and reinstalled in their previous locations. Meanwhile, the structural framework of the roof, which rests on eight steel beams, and the glass facade will be restored. The glass facade poses a particular problem, as it no longer meets today's requirements for thermal insulation and light protection. 

The internal organisation of the Mies building will remain unchanged, but will be “optimised”. This includes the installation of a passenger elevator for disabled access. The coat check and the museum shop, currently in the basement, will be moved to rooms previously used as depots.

There are plans for a museum of Modern art in Berlin to be built nearby to show the Neue Nationalgalerie’s collection of 20th-century art, much of which has been in storage. It is unclear how the museums will be linked should the construction go ahead. A spokewoman from the foundation declined to comment on any plans. The Bundestag has approved a budget of €200m for the museum. An architectural competition is due to be launched by the end of 2015, says Monika Grütters, Germany’s federal minster of culture who is the driving force behind the plans. 

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