Neues Museum by David Chipperfield Wins EU Prize for Contemporary Architecture / Mies van der Rohe Award

The main staircase of the Neues Museum in Berlin.

UK architect David Chipperfield‘s renovation of the Neues Museum in Berlin, Germany, has won the EU Prize for Contemporary Architecture of the Mies van der Rohe award. The original museum, built in the mid-19th century and designed by Friedrich August Stüler, was severely compromised in World War II. Whole sections were missing and the rest was in poor condition. Reconstruction began in 2003.

In collaboration with fellow British architect Julian Harrap, Chipperfield wanted to leave the old museum visible through the layer of the new. Rather than covering up the damage from the war, they worked to seamlessly merge the modern with the exisiting structure of the building. The main staircase, for example, mimics the original staircase in form without replicating it. It is composed of the same large format pre-fabricated concrete elements consisting of white cement mixed with Saxonian marble chips that the new exhibition rooms are built from. 

The new museum opened in October of 2009.

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