The New National Gallery or Neue Nationalgalerie in Berlin is one of the icons of 20th-century modern architecture. It was designed by Mies Van der Rohe in 1968, and it is also the only work by him in Germany after he flew to the US after World War II. After 40 years the building needed to be renovated, and it is done by David Chipperfield Architects that is set to be completed by summer 2021.
David Chipperfield Architects recently worked extensively in Berlin, completed projects like Neues Museum at Museum Islands, Berlin and Royal Academy of Arts Masterplan, London, and won several prestigious awards around the globe.
Less is more, and God is in the details are the two aphorisms by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe. He is one of the pioneers of the modernist architectural style, and he expresses the spirit of the modern era through his works. The architectural works by him have extreme clarity and simplicity in the design. Most of his buildings use materials like industrial steel, concrete, and glass. The New National Gallery is one of his best works in Germany that has become the landmark of the place. Due to refurbishment by David Chipperfield Architects, the building is closed since 2015.
The design of the gallery by Mies Van der Rohe is inspired by his unbuilt project of the administration building of rum brand Bacardi in 1954. The New National Gallery has been built with concrete, steel, and glass façade, marking the modernist architectural style and the building dedicated to culture and fine arts. The refurbishment of the building by David Chipperfield Architects aims to preserve the maximum of the existing fabric with minimum visual interventions.
The building includes 2,600 square meters of a glazed pavilion with a square flat roof which is supported by eight cruciform columns. The large basement of the building has a storage room, an administration office, a space for permanent collections and antiques, and a small garden. The interventions that are done on refurbishment by David Chipperfield Architects are repairing the glass façade, stone terrace, concrete and steel structure, and introduction of higher security systems and fire technology.
The exhibition hall is refurbished with 1600 square meters of new glass-faced, a coating of 15,000 square meters with 500 weld seams repaired, and 2,500 square meters of Striegau granite, the natural stone slabs are reinstalled after the conservation and restoration. The existing 800 ceiling lights are being supplemented with LED lights over the area of 2,500 square meters.
The original plantation on the roof is also restored with surrounding urban environments, and sidewalks are upgraded. The services of the building have also been upgraded like air conditioning, artificial lighting, visitor’s facility, which includes a cloakroom, café, and museum shop. The building is also made barrier-free, allowing the entry of disabled persons inside the New National Gallery.
The collection of the New National Gallery includes works of Pablo Picasso, Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, Otto Dix, Salvador Dalí, Andy Warhol, Richard Serra, etc. The large sculptures by Henry Moore, Alexander Calder, and Richard Serra, are on display on the terrace whereas the small sculptures and antiques are on display at Sculptured Garden on the ground floor.
Due to the Museum’s large collection, the entire collection can’t be viewed at once and on a rotation basis, the collections are placed on display. The New National Gallery organizes events like special exhibitions, guided tours, and learning events for kids and adults.
The New National Gallery or Neue Nationalgalerie, which was closed for refurbishment is set to reopen from summer 2021. David Chipperfield Architects have done absolute justice by preserving the existing fabric and minimum change can be observed visually. This building is an iconic structure of the region and reflects the architecture of the 20th century, and the building is relevant to us in numerous ways.