| DESCRIPTION || ||The proposal for the Museum of the 20th Century in Berlin borrows its initial spatial strategy from the adjacent Mies van der Rohe New National Gallery and a constructional affinity to Mies’ investigations into steel construction. A series of stacked and initially planar surfaces are subsequently deformed in response to program, site, orientation and structure. The fold acts as a mediator between the harsh Cartesian rationality of Mies and the lyrical tectonism of Scharoun. The fold is further used as a device, as an operative strategy, that allows for the mixing of programs, (not just blurring the line between the public and private, but between programs themselves as one surface defines the surface of the other), and that produces light control, structure, landscape, circulation, roofing, etc. The changing orientation of each plate “collects” the architecture of city as part of the museum experience. Its crown-like roof allows soft northern light to illuminate the art within. |
The main museum entry faces the New National Gallery while the public plaza entry orients itself toward Potsdamer Platz, with the height of the overall proposal establishing itself as a visible landmark from this important transportation hub. The transformation of the urban landscape further expands this strategy of assimilation and transformation between these two icons as it undulates and stacks to initiate the sequence into the museum. A sequence of ramps and stairs leads to an elevated public plaza at the center of the museum which operates as an extension of the city’s urban fabric, locating art as central to the urban experience. This pedestal in turn elevates the special galleries for maximum views of the surrounding context.