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Chippo unveils redesigned Berlin Museum Island scheme

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David Chipperfield has revealed its redesigned proposals for a new entrance and gallery building on Berlin's Museum Island.

The original scheme - first unveiled by the practice almost six years ago (pictured below) - came in for heavy criticism after the long-forgotten project was unexpectedly thrust back into the limelight thanks to a cash injection from the government last year (Chippo's Berlin museum proposals to become reality thanks to cash handout).

According to pressure groups, the steel and glass design for the stand-alone James Simon Gallery entrance block was 'not in keeping' with the Classically styled buildings around it and a petition was presented to the city's top brass in protest (Berlin's 'bürgers' find Chippo's Museum Island scheme hard to digest).

The reworked £49 million scheme, which will connect the Neues and Pergamon Museums, will be built from reconstituted stone and will feature an impressive colonnade reminiscent of the practice's Marbach Museum of Literature.

Instead of sitting as a solitary block, the new design will create a link to the entrance of the Pergamon Museum and allow visitors to walk straight into the main exhibition hall on the first floor.

Project architect Alexander Schwarz said: 'The major changes stem from the fact that the requirement of the building and programme has changed.

'This is a far more urbanistic gesture - a masterplan building rather than a sixth, new block - and its typology has dramatically changed.

'We have taken the motif of the courtyard on the east side of the Neues Museum and transferred it to the other side of the museum.

He added: 'It is about Classical qualities but should clearly not be Classical.'

by Richard Waite

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