/ by Afonso Castro


Extensive bombing during World War II left the building in ruins with some sections severely damaged and others completely destroyed. Few attempts at repair were made after the war, and the wreck was left exposed with only a minimum of consolidation and protection undertaken during the GDR period. After David Chipperfield Architects’ appointment to the project in 1997–98, the building and restoration took nearly eleven years to complete, and the entire Museum Island was added to the UNESCO World Cultural Heritage list in 1999.

In October 2009, after more than sixty years as a ruin, the Neues Museum reopened to the public as the third restored building on Museum Island, exhibiting the collections of the Egyptian Museum and the Museum of Pre- and Early History. The building bears witness to its complex history while some of its original technological innovations have been laid bare. The very incompleteness of its decorative pattern helps to create a holistic understanding of the historic and contemporary structure and its original and current purpose.

Neues Museum, Museum Island Berlim, 1997-2009

David Chipperfield Architects