ArchDaily | Broadcasting Architecture Worldwidethe world's most visited architecture website
i

Sign up now and start saving and organizing your favorite architecture projects and photos

i

Find the most inspiring products for your projects in our Product Catalog.

i

Get the ArchDaily Chrome Extension and be inspired with every new tab. Install here »

h

Nominate now the Building of the Year 2017 »

All
Projects
Products
Events
Competitions
  1. ArchDaily
  2. Projects
  3. Museum
  4. Germany
  5. Studio Libeskind
  6. 2011
  7. Dresden’s Military History Museum / Studio Libeskind

Dresden’s Military History Museum / Studio Libeskind

  • 01:00 - 14 October, 2011
Dresden’s Military History Museum / Studio Libeskind
Dresden’s Military History Museum / Studio Libeskind, © Bitter Bredt Courtesy of Holzer
© Bitter Bredt Courtesy of Holzer

© Bitter Bredt Courtesy of Holzer © Bitter Bredt Courtesy of Holzer © Bitter Bredt Courtesy of Holzer © Bitter Bredt Courtesy of Holzer +27

From the architect. Daniel Libeskind's Military History Museum opens today in Dresden. “I wanted to create a bold interruption, a fundamental dislocation, to penetrate the historic arsenal …” – Daniel Libeskind, 2011

“It was not my intention to preserve the museum’s facade and just add an invisible extension in the back. I wanted to create a bold interruption, a fundamental dislocation, to penetrate the historic arsenal and create a new experience. The architecture will engage the public in the deepest issue of how organized violence and how military history and the fate of the city are intertwined.”—Daniel Libeskind

© Bitter Bredt Courtesy of Holzer
© Bitter Bredt Courtesy of Holzer

A decade after Daniel Libeskind’s iconic Jewish Museum opened in Berlin another Libeskind-designed German museum will open – Dresden’s Military History Museum. The projects are more alike than they appear.

Both juxtapose aggressively avant-garde design and decidedly pre-modernist structures. Both demand a renewed emotional and intellectual focus on history. Both attempt to make sense of the seemingly senseless – of war, violence, destruction and hatred. Says Libeskind, “The destruction of Europe and European cities by the Nazis is part of the story of the destruction of Dresden. One cannot separate the Shoah and the museums that deal with memories from the history of Germany and Dresden.”

Libeskind’s extension to Dresden’s Military History Museum dramatically interrupts the building's symmetry, its massive, five-story 200-ton wedge of glass, concrete and steel slicing through the center of the 135-year-old original structure. The new façade’s openness and transparency pushes through the opacity and rigidity of the existing building just as German democracy pushed aside the country’s authoritarian past.

© Bitter Bredt Courtesy of Holzer
© Bitter Bredt Courtesy of Holzer

The museum’s redesign creates the setting for a reconsideration of that past in a city annihilated by allied bombing at the end of WWII. Inside the wedge a 99 foot viewing platform provides breathtaking views of the city as it is today while the wedge itself points in the opposite direction, toward the source of the bombs, creating a dramatic space for reflection. Says Libeskind, “Dresden is a city that has been fundamentally altered. The events of the past are not just a footnote; they are central to the transformation of the city today.” Inside, in the original, columned part of the building, German’s military history is presented in chronological order. But now it is complemented, in the new wide-open spaces of the five-story wedge, by a new thematic consideration of the societal forces and human impulses that create a culture of violence.

© Bitter Bredt Courtesy of Holzer
© Bitter Bredt Courtesy of Holzer

The redesigned Dresden Museum of Military History is now the official central museum of the German Armed Forces. It will house an exhibition area of roughly 21,000 square feet, making it Germany’s largest museum.

© Bitter Bredt Courtesy of Holzer
© Bitter Bredt Courtesy of Holzer

OVERVIEW

Since its 1897 founding, the Dresden Museum of Military History has been a Saxon armory and museum, a Nazi museum, a Soviet museum and an East German museum. Today it is the military history museum of a unified and democratic Germany, its location outside the historic center of Dresden having allowed the building to survive the allied bombing campaign at the end of World War II.

elevation
elevation

In 1989, unsure how the museum would fit into a newly unified German state, the government decided to shut it down. By 2001 feelings had shifted and an architectural competition was held for an extension that would facilitate a reconsideration of the way we think about war.

© Bitter Bredt Courtesy of Holzer
© Bitter Bredt Courtesy of Holzer

Daniel Libeskind’s winning design boldly interrupts the original building's symmetry. The extension, a massive, five-story 200-ton wedge of glass, concrete and steel, cuts through the 135-year-old former arsenal’s structural order. A 99-foot high viewing platform provides breathtaking views of modern Dresden while pointing in the opposite direction toward the source of the fire-bombs, creating a dramatic space for reflection.

© Bitter Bredt Courtesy of Holzer
© Bitter Bredt Courtesy of Holzer

The new façade’s openness and transparency contrasts with the opacity and rigidity of the existing building. The latter represents the severity of the authoritarian past while the former reflects the openness of the democratic society in which it has been reimagined. The interplay between these perspectives forms the character of the new Military History Museum.

© Bitter Bredt Courtesy of Holzer
© Bitter Bredt Courtesy of Holzer

“The dramatic extension is a symbol of the resurrection of Dresden from its ashes. It is about the juxtaposition of tradition and innovation, of the new and the old. Dresden is a city that has been fundamentally altered; the events of the past are not just a footnote; they are central to the transformation of the city today.”- Daniel Libeskind

© Bitter Bredt Courtesy of Holzer
© Bitter Bredt Courtesy of Holzer

KEY MESSAGES

1. Changing Perspective - The MHM offers different perspectives on German military history. The architecture, the new thematic exhibition and the redesigned permanent (chronological) exhibition represent both traditional and new forms of perception and expression. The juxtaposition of tradition and innovation, of old and new interpretations of military history, is the cornerstone of the new approach.

© Bitter Bredt Courtesy of Holzer
© Bitter Bredt Courtesy of Holzer

2. Cultural History of Violence - The MHM offers visitors a history of the German military. But it goes beyond uniforms and weapons in its investigation state-controlled violence, offering new ways of assessing that history and the culture of violence that gave rise to it.

© Bitter Bredt Courtesy of Holzer
© Bitter Bredt Courtesy of Holzer

3. The Central Theme is the Human Being - The central theme of the MHM’s architecture and exhibition design is an anthropological consideration of the nature of violence. The museum closely examines the fears, hopes, passions, memories, motivations and instances of courage, rationality and aggression that have precipitated violence and, all too often, war.

© Bitter Bredt Courtesy of Holzer
© Bitter Bredt Courtesy of Holzer

4. Museum as Forum - In addition to presenting current and historical topics in special exhibitions and events, the MHM will host screenings, lectures and international symposia.

model
model

5. A New Museum District - Once a prosperous and heavily visited area, Dresden’s Albertstodt district, in which the museum is located, has been deserted for some time. The new MHM will be the catalyst that turns the district into an international destination, a cultural center and a museum district. Made add’l change

Text provided by Studio Daniel Libeskind.

rendering
rendering
Location to be used only as a reference. It could indicate city/country but not exact address. Cite: "Dresden’s Military History Museum / Studio Libeskind" 14 Oct 2011. ArchDaily. Accessed . <http://www.archdaily.com/172407/dresden%25e2%2580%2599s-military-history-museum-daniel-libeskind/>
Read comments

78 Comments

Markus · August 18, 2014

So one of the few public buildings in Dresden to survive the allied WWII bombing intact now has a malignant tumor growing out of it. I hope they find the vandals that did this.

camouflage Pants for juniors · July 11, 2014

For latest news you have to pay a visit the web and on world-wide-web I found this web page as a
best website for latest updates.

Bette · April 05, 2014

Greetings I am so delighted I found your blog page, I really found you by accident, while I was researching on Bing
for something else, Regardless I am here now and
would just like to say cheers for a marvelous post and
a all round thrilling blog (I also love the theme/design), I
don’t have time to read through it all at the moment
but I have book-marked it and also included your RSS feeds, so when I have time I will
be back to read a great deal more, Please do keep up the great b.

TNT · October 03, 2013

Libeskind sent all his staff to vote down any bad comment on this building

Stefano Vegnuti · August 12, 2012

Cosa succederebbe se fosse in Italia? http://t.co/ZGceIIik via @archdaily

Sasha · July 06, 2012
mvb · June 13, 2012

Many buildings (and human beings) were 'killed' by the things exhibited in that museum.

Casila · June 12, 2012

Another urban turd from Daniel Libeskind.

Ar-Tek3 · May 17, 2012

Algún día veremos una interveción así en el #DF ? Dresden’s Military History Museum / Daniel Libeskind | http://t.co/cEYFqUge vía @archdaily

Keith Conrad · May 16, 2012

Dresden’s Military History Museum / Daniel Libeskind | ArchDaily http://t.co/sTZmKI4q via @archdaily

enrico chansal · April 22, 2012

Dresden’s Military History Museum / Daniel Libeskind | ArchDaily http://t.co/bQuJk3qf via @archdaily

Mack Kearns · March 27, 2012

New Hist Museum in Dresden is bold and engaging. What would #vonnegut say? http://t.co/26KEzYAm’s-militar...

Michael Kilpatrick · December 30, 2011

This #Libeskind building is forgettable but the comments on this #Archdaily story are memorable http://t.co/g6dO5Ipx note the handrail pic6

Brent · December 20, 2011

looks like a baad mixture of the rom he did in toronto and the national war museum by moriyama and teshima

maisam · November 08, 2011

very nice

SB · October 29, 2011

Libeskind's projects always look like they go straight from the napkin sketch to construction documents in a collaborator's office. They never have the refinement of the concept or the detailing you expect of great architecture. The first thing that pops into his head gets built. Too bad for Dresden.

Arturo · October 28, 2011

I got tired of Libeskind's boring work about 8 years ago. Now his repetitive wedges and droning explanations just put me to sleep. Yawn!!

Nick · October 27, 2011

Have any of you served in a military? This is a military museum and Libeskind's design of it demonstrates that in a brutal way. War isn't pretty, nor should it be celebrated.

Debra · October 22, 2011

The only way Libeskind can get attention is by being contrary and oppositional. It's the same way an immature child behaves. The egocentric and antisocial Libeskind never learned how to engage in a real way with other people. Not having reached intellectual adulthood, Libeskind has no alternative but to throw the architectural equivalent of a temper tantrum made manifest in hostile (but ultimately childish) gestures.

Malika-Zaynah Grant · October 22, 2011

I know people are getting tired of libeskinds designs because it's so predictable, but I actually like this one. It's outrageous but in a refreshing way.

ASTI · November 04, 2011 08:56 PM

There is much more to architecture than merely trying to be outrageous. Being outrageous, just for the sake of it, seems like a cop out for people like Libeskind who are unable to do good designs like Zumthor or Piano or Scarpa.

Soup · October 21, 2011

You see one Libeskind building, you've seen them all....

CB2 · October 20, 2011

No real architect was involved in this amateurish mess. It must be something "designed" by Nina, or maybe by the janitor in Libeskind's office. It's too crude for anyone with an eye for aesthetics.

Randall · October 20, 2011

In his book "Fishing From The Pavement" Libeskind revealed his hatred of Christians, Muslims and other peoples. So I'm not surprised this racist has also turned his hatred towards this building. His architecture is just another expression of his deranged views about society and cultural advancement. He cannot seen to design a house or a museum without his hostility and agression towards the world coming out in the destructive forms he forces on the project.

7oda · October 19, 2011

too Bad Idea

??? · October 19, 2011
MHP · October 19, 2011

Same old crystal form, just a different excuse from Libeskind. Could he be any more bereft of ideas?

Ladieda · October 19, 2011

Ik vind dit mooi. http://t.co/vYJGFgdF

Darren · October 19, 2011

The worst thing you could say about any architectural design would be to describe it as "Libeskindesque". It would be a term of revulsion.

Igor Sushko · October 19, 2011

Dresden’s Military History Museum / Daniel Libeskind | ArchDaily http://t.co/ueMW6qo2 via @archdaily

Mel · October 18, 2011

It seems a tumor

CBBK · October 18, 2011

On the plus side, Libeskind's design .... oh wait, there is no plus side.

Enrique Arturo · October 18, 2011

Dresden’s Military History Museum / Daniel Libeskind | ArchDaily http://t.co/RSY08Bfn via @archdaily

?? ?? · October 18, 2011

??????????????????????
http://t.co/baVYLOJ2

Caleb W · October 18, 2011

Dear Mr. Libeskind, please, for the love of God. Stop sticking your pointy-bits into nice old buildings, they deserve better!

Snezhana · October 18, 2011

???? ?? ??????????? ?????????,?????? RT@PrvaArhiBrigada Dresden’s Military History Museum/D.Libeskind/ ArchDaily http://t.co/tsYN52VT #drama

Archit · October 18, 2011

yes typical Libeskind. I usually hate and agree with all of the above comments. But I must say that for once this actuially makes sense. I like the jaring distructive comment on the military establisnment. Actually I think there should have been more. Maybe one that was more transparent. Actually I think Libeskind should do an addition to the US federal reserve building.

Prva Arhi Brigada · October 18, 2011

Dresden’s Military History Museum / Daniel Libeskind | ArchDaily http://t.co/XTA1L72k via @archdaily #drama

Dan Spock · October 18, 2011

Lots of pictures of Dresden’s new Military History Museum / Daniel Libeskind | ArchDaily http://t.co/DQ16gYaz via @archdaily

TA · October 18, 2011

piece of junk

Roosarts · October 18, 2011

@ArchDaily Dresden’s Military History Museum / Daniel Libeskind http://t.co/T0DMTuTC #architecture - that is NOT a first for sure...

Innorganic Layer · October 18, 2011

Museu militar redesenhado pelo arquiteto Daniel Libeskind,em Dresden, reaberto agora - http://t.co/I2zEjuNm

Leo H · October 17, 2011

For over a decade, Libeskind has been peddling hokum of the lowest intellectual caliber. Given how predictable and superficial he and his portfilio of wedges and shards has become, you have to wonder at the level of gullibility of anyone who still takes him seriously.

Fredy Brown · October 17, 2011

splendid RT @archfeeds: Via @ArchDaily - Dresden’s Military History Museum / Daniel Libeskind http://t.co/gzo07nBa #architecture

CS · October 17, 2011

I like that, but am I the only one having a déjà-vu ? http://t.co/gkHrmseC :/

Juan Diego Alvarado · October 17, 2011

Libeskind es un genio de la arquitectura http://t.co/fObZDqoZ

Arturo · October 17, 2011

It's the architectural equivalent of inserting a guitar solo in a Mozart symphony, of mixing junk food with caviar, of putting gasoline in the champagne. Yes, it gets attention by providing cheap contrast, but dissonance, disharmony and chaos are not the same as good design. Libeskind's cheap effects merely emphasise what an amateur hack he really is.

Matt Knott · October 17, 2011

http://t.co/YXA1ZEZ9 good to see #Libeskind really pushing the envelope...Alright! It&#39s another pointy one

Giovanni · October 16, 2011

With this latest project, Libeskind's historical position as the world's worst, most over-rated architect is now secure.

? · October 16, 2011

Dresden’s Military History Museum / Daniel Libeskind ?????http://t.co/uyxG5JBQ via @archdaily

Natalie_Cast · October 16, 2011

Dresden’s Military History Museum / Daniel Libeskind http://t.co/8WiLpBsF #architecture

Leonardo Coppola · October 16, 2011

Ça y est, il a de nouveau trop fumé ... http://t.co/E24IryFq

Gunthercito · October 15, 2011

#Dresden #Military #History #Museum / #Daniellibeskind #architecture #design http://t.co/Pq5xc06B via @zite

Bertrand Portier · October 15, 2011

We all must destroy academic architectures! We must hate academic architectures; for the most, they just are Greek and Roman pastiches architecture.

Kyle · October 15, 2011

Why can't ppl just leave historic buildings historic. If u want to build a shard find a empty lot somewhere. By building shards over historic buildings your destroying the beauty the original architect created.

Ben Miller · October 15, 2011

Congratulations Daniel, you came up with another pseudo-explanation for your design that you clearly construed afterwards. When will you realize that you can't just get away with building random triangle shapes EVERY SINGLE TIME?

vahid torabi · October 15, 2011

now ,its a military history museum..
The invasive form is a beautiful metaphor..great work

Carmelo Quito · October 15, 2011

Dresden’s Military History Museum / Daniel Libeskind http://t.co/nonv6LfK

Yampiero · October 15, 2011

Dresden’s Military History Museum / Daniel Libeskind | ArchDaily http://t.co/mgWidmtR vía @archdaily

Nicholas Patten · October 15, 2011

Dresden’s Military History Museum. http://t.co/w24ewpQr

Patrick Greene · October 15, 2011

Just the latest in a string of reasons why #Libeskind is one of my favorites http://t.co/lTFcSMqj #architecture

F.C. Tymrak · October 15, 2011

Dresden’s Military History Museum / Da http://t.co/XRqor2Nt

MARK · October 15, 2011

Are any of you familiar with Dresden's history? I presume most of you are not.

I find the architecture to be appropriate when thought of in the context of the firebombings. It evokes the history of the hundreds of destroyed "historical" buildings. It's a simple, expressive, yet very Liebeskind move.

Go read Slaughterhouse IV - or anything other than architecture related texts.

andrew emmet · October 18, 2011 04:21 AM

if by "evokes" the history of 'archiclasm' you mean repeats it, then yes.

Kevin Schoonmaker · October 15, 2011

Dresden history museum by Liebeskind http://t.co/45dIROkz Crappy building that illustrates an idea well. What&#39s more important?

watabetakahiro · October 15, 2011

Dresden’s Military History Museum / Daniel Libeskind http://t.co/1QTce0YU

Bocetos Digitales · October 15, 2011

Dresden’s Military History Museum / Daniel Libeskind: © Bitter Bredt Courtesy of Studio Daniel LibeskindDaniel L... http://t.co/qLwsFGzh

Dan Hogman · October 15, 2011

@ArchDaily Dresden’s Military History Museum / Daniel Libeskind http://t.co/T0DMTuTC #architecture - that is NOT a first for sure...

ArchitecturePassion · October 15, 2011

Dresden’s Military History Museum / Daniel Libeskind: © Bitter Bredt Courtesy of Studio Daniel LibeskindDa... http://t.co/Uw1VLISN

Valod · October 15, 2011

Architecture as a brand. How unfortunate.

bLogHouse · October 16, 2011 03:04 PM

In this case it's a museum franchise called "McLibeskind"

Allan · October 15, 2011

I would like a smoother response on the historical building. The new "wing" is too aggressive and although we know it's a military museum it doesn't have to boost a warlike emotion, because war is a rather negative phenomenon. Right???

The architects courage is of course on the screen.

James · October 14, 2011

Liebeskind is doing some of the most important work out there right now.

He's the only architect who's consistently found a way to aggressively interact with historical architecture via radical intervention, thereby questioning the injustices that subsidized it and the real meaning built into it.

Those who refuse to give credit to Liebeskind for doing exactly as he promised in his theoretical work are entirely oblivious in my opinion.

adriana · October 18, 2011 10:16 AM

Dear James,
Hitler also did exactly as he promised in his written works... I do not have enough words to describe how wrong and catastrophic can be Liebeskind's architectural work. It is absolutely hideos and out of any esthetic sense and you don't need any knowledge of architectural theory to figure this out. This person had a very sad childhood!!!!

nn · October 14, 2011

it's sad really - the way i see it, when an architect makes his grandest project, all the new commissions he gets probably sound like this: "make us (insert the name of great project) too!"

A.T. · October 14, 2011

I've often wondered if Libeskind can get much worse, less thoughtful or more arrogant. This project confirms he has gotten much, much worse, much less thoughtful and way more arrogant. I find him and his dumbed down rhetoric to be laughable. He's become a pathetic parody of an architect, a one-like joke kidding himself and the clowns who work for him that they are doing something relevant. Very sad ...

brad · October 14, 2011

Your all just jealous.

Jenson G · October 14, 2011

It's nice to see that Libeskind was able to leave the tired and repetitive triangulated crystal motif behind and respond in an an original and creative way for a change.

AB · October 18, 2011 01:00 PM

It is doubtful that a thing (a work of architecture) can be claimed to be original (rather than unique until it has been copied.

JIm · October 14, 2011

Thank GOD he didnt get his hands on Neuss Museum in Berlin as origionally intended!

Rizky · October 18, 2011 12:05 PM

it would be another holocaust museum if he did that in Berlin. I think he should stick his design to a trauma-related memorial/building.

joel mexico · October 14, 2011

looks like a very very graphic killing of ancient building... how could someone let him project and build something like this???

Not Joel · October 15, 2011 04:18 AM

Dresden's history consists of very graphic killings of "ancient" buildings. That's the point.

i2h · October 14, 2011

a shard. wow. that's so unlike libeskinds usual forms.

Dustin · October 14, 2011

Daniel Libeskind: License to Kill buildings.

···

Comments are closed

Read comments