David Chipperfield’s Neues Museum Receives 2011 Mies van der Rohe Award

© Ute Zscharnt

Announced today, the Berlin Neues Museum designed by David Chipperfield is the recipient of this years prestigious EU Prize for Contemporary Architecture – Mies van der Rohe Award.  The Neues Museum is the result of blending old and new; the original Museum was designed by Friedrich August Stüler in the mid-19th century. Substantially damaged in the Second World War reconstruction of the Museum began in 2003.

Jury Chair Mohsen Mostafavi, shared the following about the building, “The rebuilding of the Neues Museum is an extraordinary achievement. Rarely have an architect and client succeeded in undertaking a work of such historic importance and complexity; especially one that involves both preservation and new building. The project raises and addresses many aesthetic, ethical, and technical issues. It is an exemplary demonstration of what collaboration can achieve in the context of contemporary European architectural practice.”

Also announced today was the recipient of ‘The Emerging Architect Special Mention’ award, given to Ramon Bosch and Bet Capdeferro for the Collage House in Girona, Spain.

The awards will be presented in a ceremony at the Mies van der Rohe Pavilion in Barcelona on June 20th.

More details about this announcement following the break.

Androulla Vassiliou, European Commissioner for Education, Culture, Multilingualism and Youth, said: “My congratulations to our winners who have created two exceptional buildings. The Neues Museum brings the past and present together in an stunning mix of contemporary architecture, restoration and art. The Collage House in Girona is another remarkable renovation which fuses old and new materials in a harmonious whole.”

, who worked on the project in collaboration with fellow British architect Julian Harrap, adopted a dynamic approach in his restoration. Rather than attempting to conceal the difference between the old and new elements, the past and present are beautifully combined to create an unforgettable building with multiple layers.

David Chipperfield, Principal of David Chipperfield Architects, said: “The reconstruction of the Neues Museum is a testament to the collaborative process undertaken in a demanding climate of public opinion. The result is evidence not only of the efforts of the professional team but of the commitment of the client and the city authorities to engage in this rigorous and articulated process.”

Lluís Hortet, Director of the Mies van der Rohe Foundation, said: “The decision of the jury was an extraordinary challenge due to the high quality of all the finalist projects. The Neues Museum by David Chipperfield is a very important statement of how a contemporary architectural intervention contributes to the re-use of our heritage by improving its functional qualities and introducing outstandingly designed new architectorial elements for its museological purpose.”

Cite: Minner, Kelly. "David Chipperfield’s Neues Museum Receives 2011 Mies van der Rohe Award" 11 Apr 2011. ArchDaily. Accessed 28 May 2015. <http://www.archdaily.com/?p=126727>
  • zetre

    Good. It’s an amazing project!!

  • http://www.joshuamings.com Josh Mings

    Right pick. Absolutely amazing project, I was lucky enough to get to see it last summer.

  • cataneo pietro

    Right one, i saw the book project of the old building and it was an insane drawing job. Every detail, brick, painting or stone was accurately done. That seriousness gave me confidence in the final solution, which is awesome.

    • dima

      could you please tell me what book you are referring to? cs they are so many on amazon and i am really interested in finding the one you are referring to.. thanks:)

  • Craig Banholzer

    This method of restoring a damaged building by filling in the gaps but leaving the building essentially unrestored has become a bad habit. In fact, it has become a kind of cultural cowardice. Do the Germans believe it is more important to memorialize the Allied bombing of Berlin, than it is to restore an architectural gem to its former glory? Apparently so.

    • Valeria P

      @ Craig Banholzer

      Germans don’t necessarely wantto forget what happened. Ever thought about the didactic role of past?
      Plus I didn’t know there were still people that believe in “restoring an architectural gem to its former glory” … We do not have a time machine and that is such an old uthopie from the 19th century (see Le Duc and co.)

      • Craig Banholzer

        I often think about the didactic role of the past. Usually it is better served by a bronze plaque, than by making a monument to destruction out of an entire building whose primary purpose is display works of art.

        I have not been to Berlin to see this building, but judging from the photographs, it looks very unappealing. I can well imagine a middle course, which has been used elsewhere, whereby the building would have been substantially restored to it’s pre-bombing appearance, with subtle differences of materials etc. to make it clear enough what is original, and what new, without this kind of jolting imposition of Twenty-First Century Style on a building meant to be seen and experienced according to an entirely different architectural language.
        Of course, I know that this would not suit the demands of a doctrine that claims that new work on an historic building must be clearly distinguishable from the old. I would want to know: clear to whom? I suppose I simply believe that there is still an audience for architecture out there that does not need to be hit over the head by the obvious.

  • Craig Banholzer

    “Replacements of missing parts must integrate harmoniously with the whole, but at the same time must be distinguishable from the original so that restoration does not falsify the artistic or historic evidence.”
    -International Charter for the Conservation and Restoration of Monuments and Sites, Article 12

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