Berlin (AP) – The Chancellor is facing a new café. From his apartment in front of the island of museums are for Angela Merkel Barely a two-minute walk, when she wants to take a quick look at the newly designed area of this historic corner of Berlin from the thin colonnades of the new James Simon Gallery.
Merkel has not missed opening Friday in the neighborhood: after two decades of planning, nine years of construction and many problems, the central building of world cultural heritage is museum island finished. Starting this Saturday, nearly 2.5 million visitors a year in the five famous houses can have everything in the center of the city, which is expected from the modern museum area for a carefree fun of art.
Merkel, who has already received a thunderous applause, has at the same time used the ceremony to brilliantly describe what cultural mediation should do today: "Get new ideas from new perspectives. " The Museumsinsel is a place where the mutual dependencies of the world can become aware. For countries where cultures, ethnic groups and states do not learn from each other, Merkel considers that "demarcation, exclusion, foreclosure" is a breeding ground for misunderstandings, prejudices and the images of the enemy ".
An example of this can already be found in the gallery name. The building bears the name of art collector James Simon (1851-1932), whose Berlin museums must donate to the tourist magnet Nefertiti. The family of the Jewish entrepreneur had to flee Nazi Germany. The descendant Timothy Simon – also considered a Berliner back with much applause – has now expressed the hope that the name of the godfather's construction would be "an inspiration to people who see it".
What do you see? In the words of Hermann Parzinger, as president of the Stiftung Preußischer Kulturbesitz Hausherr also in the new building, the architecture reflects German and Prussian history. The James Simon Gallery cites the staircase of the Alte Nationalgalerie, the colonnade courtyard corridors of the Neues Museum, the pedestal of the Pergamon Museum adjoining it.
The architect Chipperfield himself sees in his slender columns a continuity of Greek antiquity to the Prussian reconversion on the island of the museum until the construction they just finished .
Chipperfield also recalled "the complexity of an adventure that began 20 years ago". Originally, the James Simon Gallery is expected to be completed in 2013. There were delays, not only because of negligence, but also because of the infiltrated for its underground Berlin uncertainty.
For example, the divers had to bury 1,200 piles in the muddy ground to ensure the foundation of the 4,600 square meter building. This is also one of the reasons why the cost has almost doubled compared to the originally planned 71 to 134 million.
In the future, the building will serve not only as a central reception and service station of the famous ensemble of the Pergamon Museum, the old National Gallery, the Bode Museum, the old and the new Museum. In the future, visitors to the gallery will begin the new archaeological walk, which will connect the buildings, which were previously interconnected by underground bridges.
Then, visitors can be guided on this walk to the various museums or look for historical entrances of standing houses rather backed. But that's future music. The completion is only expected in the 2030s.
Prussia Foundation to the project
Federal Office of Construction for the project
Architect at the James Simon Gallery
Masterplan Museum Island
James Simon Foundation