Monday, 29 March 2010

Visit to the Neues Museum

My main reason for visiting Berlin was to go to the Neues Museum which has recently been reinvented by David Chipperfield and Julian Harrap Architects. I again focused on the textures, patterns and materials throughout the building as I think it is the attention to detail which really makes this renovation so successful. I really admired the building before I went and had visited an exhibition about it at the Design Museum in London but getting to experience the building first hand really made me appreciate the massive scale of the spaces and the huge amount of work and research which went into the design and restoration of the galleries. I have far too many photos to put up on this blog but I have collected some together in a series and also scanned in some of the postcards I bought.

External Details: Repaired plasterwork is left visible, contemporary materials differentiate between old and new, concrete composite is used throughout, bullet holes litter the facade, new materials create interest through texture, new brick is used where damage was too great to be repaired.

Internal Structure: Floors are repaired where possible, columns are left with damage visible, existing structure sits side by side with new, mosaics are prominent throughout, existing ceilings have been retained and exposed.

Internal Surfaces: Original brickwork is exposed, surfaces vary between old and new, damaged paintwork is left to give a true representation of original colour schemes, existing signage and displays remain from the old museum.

It is clear from the outside of the building where new building has occured, as you can see from this photo the left hand wing is in contemorary brick. This part of the building was too badly damaged to repair.

This change is also evident inside, the new galleries use Chipperfields white concrete composite and exposed brick but keeps the form and proportions of the original building.

A dome had to be replaced internally, the unusual shape had to be modelled using individual timber blocks as bricks. The dome houses a single statue which is lit from the skylight above.

The lighting and design of the display cases in this gallery were beautiful, the objects on display were given importance due to the theatrical setting and were enhanced by the shadows they created.

Some external views of the Museum:

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