JAMES-SIMON GALERIE

The Musueminsel is located in the center of Berlin and is one of the major cultural attractions of the German capital. On a strip of land surrounded by the Spree river, there are 5 different museums. These are the highest-level institution, all separated from each other and each with unique and peculiar characteristics, built at different stages between 1830 and 1930.  After the recognition of the island as a UNESCO World Heritage in 1999, it was decided to study a general masterplan that would allow individual exhibition spaces to be connected, to create a single circuit modeled on other large European structures such as the Louvre or the Vatican Museums.

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Recently inaugurated, the James-Simon Galerie is the central reception building that fulfills this fundamental function. It, designed by architect David Chipperfield, stands out white with its stone colonnade that protects the entirely glazed facades. David Chipperfield said: “The James-Simon-Galerie resolves logistical and infrastructural issues for the museum complex, and also fulfills an architectural vision for the Museum Island. This highly symbolic location encouraged us to find a reading of the building that transcends its practical functions, becoming defined instead by its general formal characteristics and a looser idea of purpose”. The interiors of the James-Simon Galerie are simple and – in a sense – monumental, with high smooth concrete walls and wide connecting corridors. In addition to the 4 entrances arranged on three levels, the building integrates an auditorium and currently 2 museums; in the future, all 5 will be linked.

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