Forum Bildende Künste

A new visitor centre for the Kulturforum Berlin
The term “Kulturforum Berlin” generally refers to the urban ensemble of the Staatsbibliothek and the Philharmonie, built in the 1950s by Hans Scharoun as well as Mies van der Rohe's Neue Nationalgalerie, supplemented by the buildings of the Gemäldegalerie with the Kunstbibliothek, the Kunstgewerbemuseum and the Kupferstichkabinett added in the following decades.
The Kulturforum was originally created based on the idea of building a new cultural centre in West Berlin on the edge of the Tiergarten, which would complement and counterbalance the historical centre in the eastern part of the city.
Despite the important individual buildings, a square or forum character and an identity-forming townscape have never emerged. This is attributed to the spaciousness, the fragmentation of the area by the street layout, the monofunctionality, the flowing spatial boundaries and the fact that the existing buildings do not follow a superordinate overall urban planning concept.
This unresolved urban planning situation as well as the future development with the expansion of the museum areas and the undeveloped open space in the middle of the Kulturforum next to the St. Matthäus-Kirche were repeatedly the subject of heated discussion in the media and among architects and urban planners.
With the competition for the new 20th century museum and the winning design by Herzog & de Meuron, another decision has now been made.
Thus, the question of the design of a central entrance building, which allows orientation in the conglomerate of museums, is now being raised again.
The so-called Museumsplatz, the area in front of the Gemäldegalerie, the Kunstgewerbemuseum, the Kunstbibliothek and the Kupferstichkabinett will move into the new centre of the Kulturforum due to the elimination of the former central square between St. Matthäus-Kirche and Potsdamer Straße. An upgrading of the entrance situations of all adjoining museums, the creation of a place with service functions such as information, tickets, cloakrooms etc., a starting point for guided tours as well as extension areas for the Kunstgewerbemuseum with attractive gastronomy are to be realised here.
The upcoming spring workshop of the aac Academy for Architectural Culture is dedicated to this topic. The aim of the workshop is to find a seminal solution for the design of an appropriate entrance area for all museum buildings by dealing with the history of the site and the complex spatial contexts.
In addition, in cooperation with the square next to the St. Matthäus-Kirche, the aim is to strengthen the quality of the open spaces in order to turn the new centre of the Kulturforum into a lively and inspiring square.