2015.Wilfried Wang

Museum of the 20th century kulturforum Berlin

Prof: Wilfried Wang

Prof. asistente: Conrado Capilla


The task of the studio is to design the Museum of the 20th Century for the modern art collection of the Prussian Cultural Foundation at the Kulturforum in Berlin. The design is to be developed from the urban context to the architectural detail. The overall useable area for the new museum is 14.000 m2. The Prussian Cultural Foundation (PCF) in Berlin has no permanent museum for classical modern and contemporary art. Its modern art collection is occasionally displayed in changing exhibitions as well as at various locations such as the New National Gallery, the Martin-Gropius-Bau or the Hamburger Bahnhof. Private collections of important value have been donated or offered to Berlin under the condition that the PCF provide appropriate exhibition space. At the end of November 2014 the German parliament gave the Secretary of State for Cultural Affairs, Dr. Monika Grütters, the permission to dedicate € 200 million of taxpayers’ money to a new building for the Museum of the 20th Century to be located on the Kulturforum between Hans Scharoun’s Philharmonie and Ludwig Mies van der Rohe’s New National Gallery and August Stüler´s St. Matthäus Church. While the Kulturforum has recently celebrated its 50th anniversary, it is still incomplete and in need of overall repair. Above all, since the dynamism of reunification has given rise to hundreds of other cultural centers in Berlin, the Kulturforum has lost its rank amongst Berlin’s cultural hot spots. Berlin has truly become a city of multicultural and multifocal locations and the Kulturforum is only one of the city’s many cultural fora. The New National Gallery Berlin designed by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, inaugurated in 1968, will close at the beginning of 2015 for at least three if not for five years for renovation works. It is still the only museum for modern art, and far too small to display the large and ever growing collection of modern art. The State Library across the street from Mies´ building designed by Hans Scharoun will continue to be under renovation for several years, wrapped in scaffolds. Scharoun´s Philharmonic Concert Hall, the Chamber Music Hall and the Music Instrument Museum complete the northern edge of Kulturforum. A new landscape project for the surroundings of the Philharmonic is about to isolate the building complex for a three year construction period. The Gemäldegalerie to the west of the St. Matthäus Church boasts one of the world´s most important collections of European painting ranging from the 13th to 18th century. The Gemäldegalerie and the New National Gallery are part of the museums directed by the Prussian Cultrual Foundation. The Foundation is a powerful institution with a vast collection. It comprises prominent sites such as the Museum Island, the future Humboldtforum, the Kulturforum, the museums at the palace of Charlottenburg, Dahlem and Köpenick. In 2012, the Prussian Cultural Foundation began a public review of their overall curatorial concept, promoting to move essential pieces of the painting collection from Kulturforum to the Museum Island in order to complete the showcased collections of the 17th to the 19th century. Parts of the Prussian Cultural Foundation’s collection will be moved from Dahlem and Charlottenburg to the new Humboldtforum (the reconstructed palace of the Hohenzollern). Major points of public attraction will thus be moved from Kulturforum tothe Museum Island, thereby contributing to the erosion of the site and an associated loss in meaning.

An earlier feasibility study under the guidance of the Federal Building Board identified 4 possible sites at Kulturforum suited for the new museum. The Secretary of State for Cultural Affairs, however, has decided on the site on Potsdamer Straße between the Scharoun Philharmonie and Mies van der Rohe’s New National Gallery. This is the most challenging site of all four. The opportunity to locate the new museum on this site allows for a sound and at the same time radical revision of the overall concept for the Kulturforum.




Benjamín Lazaeta (Santiago, Chile)



Pierre Berru (Guayaquil, Ecuador)



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