"I Believe in Buildings Like This, in the Physical Quality of Architecture": David Chipperfield Discusses Neue Nationalgalerie and the Work of Mies Van der Rohe

"I Believe in Buildings Like This, in the Physical Quality of Architecture": David Chipperfield Discusses Neue Nationalgalerie and the Work of Mies Van der Rohe

The Neue Nationalgalerie, designed by Mies van der Rohe, reopened to the public after an extensive renovation project carried out by the practice of David Chipperfield. In this video created by Mies van der Rohe House, Chipperfield shares his thoughts on the design language of Mies van der Rohe while also discussing the qualities of Neue Nationalgalerie and the future role of architectural monuments. The interview is part of the film and exhibition project Mies Goes Future, which invites artists, architects, and historians to explore the work of the renowned Modernist architect as a source of inspiration for contemporary practice.

"I Believe in Buildings Like This, in the Physical Quality of Architecture": David Chipperfield Discusses Neue Nationalgalerie and the Work of Mies Van der Rohe - Image 2 of 10"I Believe in Buildings Like This, in the Physical Quality of Architecture": David Chipperfield Discusses Neue Nationalgalerie and the Work of Mies Van der Rohe - Image 3 of 10"I Believe in Buildings Like This, in the Physical Quality of Architecture": David Chipperfield Discusses Neue Nationalgalerie and the Work of Mies Van der Rohe - Image 4 of 10"I Believe in Buildings Like This, in the Physical Quality of Architecture": David Chipperfield Discusses Neue Nationalgalerie and the Work of Mies Van der Rohe - Image 5 of 10+ 10

"I Believe in Buildings Like This, in the Physical Quality of Architecture": David Chipperfield Discusses Neue Nationalgalerie and the Work of Mies Van der Rohe - Image 2 of 10
© Simon Menges

In the interview, David Chipperfield reflects on the underlying qualities that circumscribe Mies van der Rohe's work, from the Barcelona Pavilion to the Neue Nationalgalerie. The British architect also reflects on the traditional conception of architecture expressed in Rohe's projects, who, unlike other Modernist figures, showcased a much more pronounced interest in classical values like light, materiality, and space tectonics. Discussing the Berlin project, Chipperfield acknowledges the curatorial difficulties posed by the building but stresses the importance of its civic dimension.

"I Believe in Buildings Like This, in the Physical Quality of Architecture": David Chipperfield Discusses Neue Nationalgalerie and the Work of Mies Van der Rohe - Image 3 of 10
© Simon Menges
"I Believe in Buildings Like This, in the Physical Quality of Architecture": David Chipperfield Discusses Neue Nationalgalerie and the Work of Mies Van der Rohe - Image 7 of 10
© Simon Menges

Mies van der Rohe's last completed work and only postwar building in Europe, the Neue Nationalgalerie, is an icon of twentieth-century architecture. The 1968 glass and steel structure, dubbed by Berliners "the gas station," has functioned as an exhibition space for almost fifty years before entering a comprehensive renovation project. The refurbishment led by David Chipperfield invested significant effort into preserving as much as possible of the original substance, treating the modernist structure with the reverence usually bestowed on archaeologically critical architectural works. Thirty-five thousand pieces of metal and stone were restored, modified when necessary and installed back into their original place. Technical upgrades to the building included air-conditioning, artificial lighting, security, and visitors' facilities.


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Curated by Esenija Bannan, the Mies Goes Future project is a long-term study across multiple mediums and formats of the work of Mies van der Rohe. Other instalments in the video series created by artist and filmmaker Greg Bannan include director Anna Ramos discussing the story of Fundació Mies van der Rohe, Odile Decq speaking about new buildings adjacent to modernist architectural monuments, or art historian Jan Maruhn discussing Rohe's project shown at the 1931 Building Exhibition in Berlin.

"I Believe in Buildings Like This, in the Physical Quality of Architecture": David Chipperfield Discusses Neue Nationalgalerie and the Work of Mies Van der Rohe - Image 10 of 10
© Simon Menges
"I Believe in Buildings Like This, in the Physical Quality of Architecture": David Chipperfield Discusses Neue Nationalgalerie and the Work of Mies Van der Rohe - Image 8 of 10
© Simon Menges

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Cite: Andreea Cutieru. ""I Believe in Buildings Like This, in the Physical Quality of Architecture": David Chipperfield Discusses Neue Nationalgalerie and the Work of Mies Van der Rohe" 29 Aug 2021. ArchDaily. Accessed . <https://www.archdaily.com/967593/i-believe-in-buildings-like-this-in-the-physical-quality-of-architecture-david-chipperfield-discusses-neue-nationalgalerie-and-the-work-of-mies-van-der-rohe> ISSN 0719-8884

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