Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to a newer version or another browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

This site uses cookies. By using our services, you agree to our cookie use.
Learn more here.

Competition: Museum of modern art, Berlin

Neue Nationalgalerie Image by Miriam Guterland

The Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation has launched a contest to design an £80 million museum of modern art in Berlin (Deadline: 13 May)

Planned to complete in 2021, the project will create a 14,700m² standalone structure with an underground link to Mies van der Rohe’s Neue Nationalgalerie.

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, which is sited within the Kulturforum cluster of cultural buildings, the new museum will also feature its own ‘autonomous’ entrance and identity.

A previous ideas competition caused controversy earlier this year when none of the 10 shortlisted entries was deemed good enough, with poor guidelines blamed.

Up to 45 teams will participate in the latest contest, including 13 pre-selected practices, among them David Chipperfield Architects, OMA, Herzog & de Meuron, Snøhetta and Sauerbruch Hutton.

The pre-selected firms will be joined by the 10 ideas contest winners and at least 15 additional qualifying teams.

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.’



One of the ten shortlisted entries in the ideas contest for the Museum of modern art in Berlin

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.

How to apply


12pm local time 13 May

Contact details

Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation

Von-der-Heydt-Str. 16-18

10785 Berlin


View the competition website and contract notice for more information



Source: Image by Peter Cook

Fuglsang Kunstmuseum by Tony Fretton Architects

Fuglsang Kunstmuseum case study: Q&A with Tony Fretton

The founder of Tony Fretton Architects discusses how the practice went about designing the Fuglsang Kunstmuseum in Lolland, Denmark

Tony Fretton

Tony Fretton

Source: David Grandorge

Tony Fretton

How did your Stirling Prize-shortlisted Fuglsang Kunstmuseum successfully respond to its immediate context?

The kunstmuseum is located in a former farmyard opposite a manor house, and looks out across wide agricultural fields to the sea. We placed the building so that visitors see this landscape as they approach the entrance, and then see it again from points of rest in the public areas. This arrangement provides orientation and relief to visitors as they pass through the galleries. It also relates the individual work of artists to the collective work of local people in the formation and cultivation of the surrounding landscape. Although abstract in its architecture, the building provides continuity in the setting by similarities of alignment, colour and material, sometimes directly and sometimes by analogy. Our objective was to show that art architecture could also be social architecture.

Would a similar strategy work for a challenging competition site surrounded by important Modernist landmarks such as the Neue Nationalgalerie?

The Kulturforum is a strange setting – a place of high culture arranged with breathtaking carelessness and doing nothing to interpret its relationship to the city and park. Buildings of variable quality by great architects are assembled but hardly speak to each other. The Concert Hall by Sharoun is a bravura social statement with a strange lack of finish and circulation routes that are sometimes strangely inept. In contrast his library is a wonderfully serene place for everyone to feel a love of study.

The Mies Nationalgalerie, having spent a long time gestating in America, strikes a haughty indifference to its situation. It is wonderful in its singularity and grandeur, and tragic in its constructional and museological inadequacy. Incongruously the Kulturforum also boasts a conserved brick church, while at a distance, Stirling’s science centre, possibly his least satisfactory work, can be seen. If London is an outcome of shortsightedness and greed, the Kulturforum is a product of high-level, ill-informed cultural conservatism, a curatorial fiasco of a type recognisable in London and other capitals. I do not think that an interpretation of this situation would be welcome. What I expect will be wanted, and selected, will be more of the same.



Source: Image by Helene Binet

Fuglsang Kunstmuseum by Tony Fretton Architects