Neues Museum Berlin
This book, edited by David Chipperfield, documents his most important project to date: the Neues Museum, the centrepiece of the Berlin Museumsinsel.
Here he connects the old and the new in a completely novel way. As he says himself, he “proceeded like a painter, who painstakingly considers every dab of paint”.
Photographs by Candida Höfer show the rooms before and after their completion. Höfer avoided using artificial light, so the images of the rooms are bathed in a soft natural light, with stunning results. These moments are perfectly reproduced in the book as matt colour plates. The photographer is inspired by the empty rooms and grandiose corridors of space to then dedicate her attention to the architect’s interventions.
This artistic-photographic documentation is complimented by texts from well-known architects, architectural historians, art historians and conservation architects. They highlight the fundamental principles of the project of conservation and complementation. Kenneth Frampton discusses the almost historical endeavour to restore such a building and responds to Chipperfield’s architectural interventions, purely abstract forms that avoid any trace of kitsch. Joseph Rykwert describes the fragmented history “of which this building is evidence, thanks to its manifold layers”. An interview with David Chipperfield by Wolfgang Wolters imparts insights into the problems and questions that the restoration posed and in his contribution, Thomas Weski takes a closer look at Candida Höfer’s photography.
In addition, a chronology offers an overview of the history of the building, the request for proposals for its reconstruction and the restoration itself.
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