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Museum of the 20th Century - Berlin, Proposal

Museum of the 20th Century - Berlin, Proposal

Der Himmel über Berlin
The sky above Berlin can be a variety of things. Although we know that the sky above us is infinite, stars and the hemisphere are still an inherent part of our spatial understanding of the world.

The sky, a sphere, and the horizontality of the surface, seemingly planar, are both affected by the sheer scale of things as well as by the position of the spectator.

Our proposal for the Museum of the 20th century lies in the tension field of its iconic neighbors Neue Nationalgalerie and the Berlin Philharmony.  
With its spherical and sloping, publicly accessible roof, it creates a new urban space in the center of the Kulturforum Berlin, whilst taking a negotiating position between the two iconic buildings.

The new building helps connecting currently undefined urban spaces and acts as the new centerpiece of the area.

The Museum of the 20th century in the 21st century
Many museums today seem to see their visitors as the largest threat to their own collections and exhibitions. This attitude leaves museums “passive” in their performative role as cutting-edge institutions and in their relationship to the public at large.

To enable the Museum of the 20th century to have the desired active role in interacting and communicating with its audience, our proposal is based on the idea of creating a building that is as open as possible and that almost completely diminishes the threshold between art the public.

The terraced museum
Entering the building, the visitor first perceives the large, free spanning roof that, towards the horizon, seems to continue to infinity.
This large, open and inviting space, acts as the museums central foyer. From here all public functions can be reached on several levels.  At every point of this central space visitors can get a glimpse of the activities above and below. 

The roof acts as an element of orientation on every level of the building. The exhibition spaces offer a wide span of curatorial possibilities. From the classical Salon, through white cubes, black boxes and audio-spaces to exhibition spaces that are merging with the museums public functions.
Art as a participatory experience.

From 2027 The Museum of the 20th Century is intended to be connected to the Neue Nationalgalerie through an underground exhibition space. From here visitors can see out of the museum and over the public roof.
Up to the infinite sky.

Landscape, Interior, Architecture, Museum & Gallery, Public Space





Berlin, Germany




26 000m2


Staatliche Museen, Berlin


Bollinger&Grohmann, StRaumA

The terraced museum


Site plan