The Neues Museum on Berlin’s Museum Insel was designed by Friedrich August Stüler and built between 1841 and 1859.
Extensive bombing during the Second World War left the building in ruins, with entire sections missing completely and others severely damaged. Few attempts at repair were made after the war, and the structure was left exposed to nature.
The archaeological restoration followed the guidelines of the Charter of Venice, respecting the historical structure in its different states of preservation.
All the gaps in the existing structure were filled in without competing with the existing structure in terms of brightness and surface.
The original sequence of rooms was restored with new building sections that create continuity with the existing structure. The new exhibition rooms are built of large format pre-fabricated concrete elements consisting of white cement mixed with Saxonian marble chips.
Formed from the same concrete elements, the new main staircase repeats the original without replicating it, and sits within a majestic hall that is preserved only as a brick volume, devoid of its original ornamentation.
Other new volumes – the Northwest wing, with the Egyptian court and the Apollo risalit, the apse in the Greek courtyard, and the South Dome – are built of recycled handmade bricks, complementing the preserved sections.
With the reinstatement and completion of the mostly preserved colonnade at the Eastern and Southern side of the Neues Museum, the pre-war urban situation is re-established to the East.
The museum exhibits the collections of the Egyptian Museum and the Museum of Pre- and Early History. Vitrines, pedestals and plinths are designed by Michele de Lucchi. The Neues Museum is the third restored building on Museum Island.
The New Entrance Building by David Chipperfield Architects, the James Simon Gallery, will be constructed between the Neues Museum and the Spree, echoing the urban situation of the site pre-1938.