Building research archive receives original building elements from the Neue Nationalgalerie
Ten exemplary building elements that were removed in the course of the basic restoration of the Neue Nationalgalerie by Mies van der Rohe and not reinstalled will be transferred to the Bauhaus Dessau Foundation and will be available there for building research.
On 10 September 2021, the Bauhaus Dessau Foundation received some selected original components of the building from the Stiftung Preußischer Kulturbesitz. These include a glazing element of the steel and glass facade, a natural stone panel, a floor covering panel, an element of the wooden modular ceiling, a part of the Rabitz ceiling, the wall plaster, the woodchip wallpaper, and the brown oak veneer, as well as a switch.
Over 35,000 original elements removed
The refurbishment of the Neue Nationalgalerie, which was completed in spring and the results of which have been available to museum visitors since August, has shown how much can be gained from an extremely careful examination of the original building fabric. Over 35,000 original elements, such as the granite slabs, lights, railings and wooden panels, were carefully removed, inventoried, stored and restored in the course of the basic restoration before they were reinstalled. For technical or usage-related reasons, some elements (glazing, floor flex panels, TGA components) could not be retained in the building or could only be retained in the form of small samples (modular ceiling, Rabitz ceiling, wire glass).
With the handover of the building elements, the Neue Nationalgalerie will now become a permanent object of material construction research. The building, which set standards worldwide and was groundbreaking for generations of architects, can now also be researched in its material composition in the long term. It was built between 1965 and 1968 at the Kulturforum in Berlin and is regarded as the culmination of Ludwig Mies van der Rohe’s lifework. On behalf of the Stiftung Preußischer Kulturbesitz, it was completely renovated by the Federal Office for Building and Regional Planning from 2016 to spring 2021 in accordance with the requirements of a listed building and adapted to today’s technical and usage-specific requirements with subtle interventions. David Chipperfield Architects Berlin was commissioned with the planning.
First objects by Mies van der Rohe
The building research archive of the Bauhaus Dessau Foundation is a contact point for researchers from all over the world when it comes to researching building materials and the refurbishment of Bauhaus and modernist buildings. Now, for the first time, parts of a building by Mies van der Rohe have found their way into the Dessau collection.
The building research archive was established between 1998 and 2001 as part of a research project on the Bauhaus buildings in Dessau. It now comprises about 2600 objects, essentially construction elements of the Bauhaus buildings. In addition, there are also plans, product information, historical photographs, reports by contemporary witnesses or expert opinions as well as information on the use and changes to the buildings. With its unique character, the archive functions as a centre of excellence for research on building materials and the renovation of modernist buildings, especially Bauhaus buildings.