'Sensational' Volker Staab design wins Berlin museum prize

by Kim Megson | 27 Oct 2015

German architect Volker Staab has beaten 40 international rivals in a competition to expand an iconic art museum in Berlin.

He has designed a new 6,700sq m (72,000sq ft) extension for the Bahaus-Archiv and Museum für Gestaltung, which houses the world’s largest collection of crafts and fine arts from the Bahaus artistic movement.

His design incorporates a series of underground galleries and a delicate fire-storey glazed tower; described by one judge as “a lantern shining in the night like a glittering gem on the new square.” A lower-lying courtyard will form the heart of the complex, which will also contain the existing building designed by Walter Gropius, the father of the Bauhaus movement.

The German government and the state of Berlin are contributing €34.7m (US$38.3m, £24.9m) towards the new structure, which was commissioned to ‘do justice’ to a museum that regularly attracts over 100,000 visitors a year. A further €21.5m (US$23.7m, £15.4m) will be used to renovate Gropius’ 1960s structure.

Describing Staab’s vision, the Berlin senate’s director of urban development, Regula Lüscher, said: “Volker Staab has given us a design that will cause a sensation. It has an attractively modest quality and it will complete the landscape ensemble of the existing building.”

The museum’s director, Dr. Annemarie Jaeggi, said: “His intelligent design will offer us a wealth of opportunities, both in museum terms and also in terms of communicative options, to extend our work into the urban space and into society.”

German architect Volker Staab has beaten 40 international rivals in a competition to expand an iconic art museum in Berlin. He has designed a new 6,700sq m (72,000sq ft) extension for the Bahaus-Archiv and Museum für Gestaltung, which houses the world’s largest collection of crafts and fine arts from the Bahaus artistic movement. His design incorporates a series of underground galleries and a delicate fire-storey glazed tower; described by one
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Staab's design incorporates a series of underground galleries and a delicate fire-storey glazed tower; described by one judge as 'a lantern shining in the night like a glittering gem' / H.J. Wuthenow
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