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Sumit Singhal
Sumit Singhal
Sumit Singhal loves modern architecture. He comes from a family of builders who have built more than 20 projects in the last ten years near Delhi in India. He has recently started writing about the architectural projects that catch his imagination.

Jewish Museum Berlin in Germany by Studio Daniel Libeskind

 
April 27th, 2012 by Sumit Singhal

Article source: Studio Daniel Libeskind

The Jewish Museum Berlin, which opened to the public in 2001, exhibits the social, political and cultural history of the Jews in Germany from the 4th century to the present. The museum explicitly presents and integrates, for the first time in postwar Germany, the repercussions of the Holocaust. The new extension is housed on the site of the original Prussian Court of Justice building which was completed in 1735 and renovated in the 1960s to become a museum for the city of Berlin.

JMB Next to Original Baroque Building (Images Courtesy BitterBredt)

  • Architect: Studio Daniel Libeskind
  • Name of Project: Jewish Museum Berlin
  • Location: Berlin, Germany
  • Building size: 166,840 sq.ft
  • Structure: Reinforced concrete with zinc facade
  • Photography: Guenter Schneider, Bitter Bredt, Torsten Seidel, Michele Nastesi and SDL

Aerial View (Images Courtesy Guenter Schneider)

  • Client: Stiftung Juedisches Museum Berlin
  • Cost & Site Supervision: Lubic & Woehrlin, Berlin
  • Structural Engineer: GSE Tragwerkplaner, Berlin IGW Ingenieurgruppe Wiese, Berlin
  • Mechanical / Electrical / Plumbing Engineer: Klimasystemtechnik, Berlin
  • Civil Engineer: Cziesielski + Partner, Berlin
  • Landscape Architect: Müller, Knippschild, Wehberg, Berlin
  • Raw Construction: Fischer Bau, Berlin
  • Windows: Trube & Kings, Uersfeld/Eifel
  • Façade: Werner & Sohn , Berlin
  • Mechanical Systems: Klima Bau, Berlin Voigt Bode, Sieversdorf Nordbau, Nassenheide
  • Electrical Systems: Alpha, Berlin
  • Status: Completed
  • Completion Date: 1999

Holocaust Tower (left) and Garden of Exile (Images Courtesy BitterBredt)

The new design, which was created a year before the Berlin Wall came down was based on three conception that formed the museum’s foundation: first, the impossibility of understanding the history of Berlin without understanding the enormous intellectual, economic and cultural contribution made by the Jewish citizens of Berlin, second, the necessity to integrate physically and spiritually the meaning of the Holocaust into the consciousness and memory of the city of Berlin. Third, that only through the acknowledgement and incorporation of this erasure and void of Jewish life in Berlin, can the history of Berlin and Europe have a human future.

JMB Hol Tower (Images Courtesy BitterBredt)

The entrance is through the Baroque Kollegienhaus and then into a dramatic entry Void by a stair, which descends under the existing building foundations, crisscrosses underground, and materializes itself as an independent building on the outside. The existing building is tied to the extension underground, preserving the contradictory autonomy of both the old building and the new building on the surface, while binding the two together in the depth of time and space. The descent leads to three underground axial routes, each of which tells a different story. The first, and longest, traces a path leading to the Stair of Continuity, then up to and through the exhibition spaces of the museum, emphasizing the continuum of history. The second leads out of the building and into the Garden of Exile and Emigration, remembering those who were forced to leave Berlin. The third leads to a dead end — the Holocaust Void.

Holocaust Tower (Images Courtesy BitterBredt)

The Holocaust Void cuts through the zigzagging plan of the new building and creates a space that embodies absence. It is a straight line whose impenetrability becomes the central focus around which exhibitions are organized. In order to move from one side of the museum to the other, visitors must cross one of the 60 bridges that open onto this void.

In 2004, the Jewish Museum Berlin commissioned SDL to design a multifunctional space that would provide additional room for the museum’s restaurant and extend the lobby to provide event space for lectures, concerts, and dinners. The glass courtyard which was completed in 2007 creates an adaptable space which can be used throughout the year while preserving the open courtyard qualities of the baroque building.

JMB Void (Images Courtesy Torsten Seidel)

Main Staircase with Structural Beams (Images Courtesy Bitter Bredt)

Overall Composition of JMB (Images Courtesy Bitter Bredt)

Paul Celan Courtyard (Images Courtesy Bitter Bredt)

Skyline View (Images Courtesy Michele Nastesi)

Stair (Images Courtesy Michele Nastesi)

The Void (Images Courtesy BitterBredt)

Undergroung Roads (Images Courtesy BitterBredt)

Windows as part of Star of David Matrix (Images Courtesy Michele Nastasi)

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Category: Museum

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