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Star bidders named as Berlin opens museum contest

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David Chipperfield, OMA and Sauerbruch Hutton are among a raft of star architects invited to participate in the contest for Berlin’s £80 million modern art museum

Herzog & de Meuron, Snøhetta and Sou Fujimoto Architects are also among the 13 high-profile practices which have been pre-selected to compete.

Organised by the Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation, the contest seeks proposals for a new 14,700m² standalone structure within the German capital’s Kulturforum district.

Up to 45 teams – including 10 winners of an earlier ideas contest and at least 15 additional qualifying teams – will participate in the contest for the prestigious job.

Planned to complete in 2021, the proposed Museum of the 20th Century will occupy a prominent plot next Ludwig Mies van der Rohe’s Neue Nationalgalerie and Hans Scharoun’s Berliner Philharmonie.

It will feature a permanent exhibition of modern artworks and an underground tunnel to the Neue Nationalgalerie which is undergoing a £70 million revamp by David Chipperfield.

Expected to form a ‘unity’ with its iconic 1968 neighbour, the new building will also feature its own ‘autonomous’ entrance and identity.

According to the brief: ‘The Museum of the 20th Century will display permanently and together for the first time, the internationally, significant collections of the national gallery of 20th century art and the collections of Marx, Pietzsch, the Marzona archive, as well as works from the gallery of prints.’

The document continued: ‘The art museum should also be a meeting place and a place for interdisciplinary discussions both programmatically and architecturally. In terms of rediscovery and self-questioning, the Museum of the 20th Century should become a place of identity in a plural and tolerant society of the 21st century.’

Teams of architects and landscape architects are invited to apply for the latest competition. Applicants must have either completed or won a competition prize for at least one similar building measuring no less than 3,000m² in the last 10 years to qualify.

The judging panel includes Roger Diener of Basel’s Diener & Diener – which expanded the north east wing of Berlin’s Museum of Natural History in 2010 – and Enrique Sobejano of Madrid-based Nieto Sobejano Arquitectos.

Around £154,000 will be shared equally between all teams submitting satisfactory design concepts. The overall winner – set to be announced at the end of this year – will receive £77,000, and a second-place prize of £50,000 and third-place prize worth £30,000 will also be awarded.

The competition language is German and the deadline for applications is 12pm local time on 13 May.

How to apply

View the competition website and contract notice for more information

Contact details

Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation
Von-der-Heydt-Str. 16-18
10785 Berlin


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