Berliner Schloss Post Ed 11

The start of summer 2012 was an important day for Berlin. 21st June 2012 saw the groundbreaking cere- mony for the reconstruction of Berlin Palace. Among those present were Peter Ramsauer, Federal Minister of Transport, Building and Urban Af- fairs, Bernd Neumann, Minister of State for Culture and Media in the Federal Chancellery, Klaus Wowereit, Governing Mayor of Berlin and Man- fred Retting of the Berlin Palace - Humboldt Forum Foundation. Their hands, mine and several others pushed the ceremonial start button. A huge drill then began to bore a hole, forty metres deep, for the palace’s first foundation pile. Now, with Berlin Palace being re- built, what is being created is more than just the heart of the German capital in all its former glory. As the Humboldt Forum the palace, along with Museum Island, will become a new fascinating centre in the middle of Berlin, showcasing the world’s cul- tures and art forms from ancient times to the present day. The Berlin Palace - Humboldt Forum Foundation is the commis- sioning organisation for this the greatest cultural construction project in Germany and will be the subse- quent proprietor of the Humboldt Forum. The foundation was set up three years ago pursuant to a resolu- tion of the German Bundestag. It co- ordinates the interests of the project’s partners: the Prussian Cultural Heri- tage Foundation, Berlin Central and State Library and Berlin Humboldt University. “With the foundation works get- ting underway it really is now all system go for the Berlin Palace - Humboldt Forum,” stressed Federal Buildings Minister Dr. Peter Ramsauer. He was fully behind the project, as “the Berlin Palace will be the cultural calling card for all Ger- many!” Minister of State Bernd Neu- mann emphasises that “after many years of planning and preparations an important milestone has been reached on the path towards rebuild- ing Berlin Palace as the Humboldt Forum.” He stressed: “Berlin Palace will in future be immensely signifi- cant as a place of cultural interaction and international dialogue in the heart of Berlin.” The Governing Mayor of Berlin, Klaus Wowereit, thanked “everybody involved and all those who have worked on the proj- ect for many years for their tireless commitment. Berlin thanks the State, without whose support this building could not be financed.” Everything is going to plan. The ar- chaeological works have been fin- ished. The cellar and foundation re- mains for the Archaeological Window have been filled in again with sand as a protective measure. Before work begins on the tunnel for the extension of the U5 underground line, which will run under the palace site, the ground needs to be compacted. Con- struction trench walls are currently being produced and the first bored piles inserted in the area around the Archaeological Window. The founda- tion stone for the Berlin Palace - Hum- boldt Forum is due to be laid by Fed- eral Chancellor Angela Merkel in May 2013. Last October, Federal President Hans Joachim Gauck took over as patron of the project, thus giving it particular high-profile status. To- gether with the ongoing upgrading and renovation of the museum build- ings on Museum Island, what is un- folding here is Germany’s the most important cultural project of the 21st century. It can rightly be said that it’s now all systems go! By the end of 2015 the basic con- struction of the palace should already be finished. It will be ready for the partners to move in by the end of 2017 and the official opening is planned for 2019, possibly on the 30th anniver- sary of the fall of the Wall – thus cap- ping off the reunification process. In terms of its cityscape the palace heals Berlin’s heart, which was stripped of its soul by the GDR with its dynamite, and makes the city once again the complete architectural work of art that gained it such fame before the War. It´s now all systems go! by Manfred Rettig The palace has many fathers: (l. to r.) Klaus Wowereit, Mayor of Berlin, Dr Peter Ramsauer, Federal Minister of Urban Development, Bernd Neumann, Minster of State for Culture, architect Franco Stella and chairman Manfred Rettig. PUBLISHER: FÖRDERVEREIN BERLINER SCHLOSS E.V. 11. EDITION · COMPLETE CIRCULATION 100.000 COPIES · FEBRUARY 2013 THE BERLINER SCHLOSS POST FREE COPY We are looking forward to your visit at


Berliner Schloss Post Edition 11

Transcript of Berliner Schloss Post Ed 11

Page 1: Berliner Schloss Post Ed 11

The start of summer 2012 was an important day for Berlin. 21st June 2012 saw the groundbreaking cere-mony for the reconstruction of Berlin Palace. Among those present were Peter Ramsauer, Federal Minister of Transport, Building and Urban Af-fairs, Bernd Neumann, Minister of State for Culture and Media in the Federal Chancellery, Klaus Wowereit, Governing Mayor of Berlin and Man-fred Retting of the Berlin Palace - Humboldt Forum Foundation. Their hands, mine and several others pushed the ceremonial start button. A huge drill then began to bore a hole, forty metres deep, for the palace’s first foundation pile.

Now, with Berlin Palace being re-built, what is being created is more than just the heart of the German capital in all its former glory. As the Humboldt Forum the palace, along with Museum Island, will become a new fascinating centre in the middle of Berlin, showcasing the world’s cul-tures and art forms from ancient times to the present day.

The Berlin Palace - Humboldt Forum Foundation is the commis-sioning organisation for this the

greatest cultural construction project in Germany and will be the subse-quent proprietor of the Humboldt Forum. The foundation was set up three years ago pursuant to a resolu-tion of the German Bundestag. It co-ordinates the interests of the project’s partners: the Prussian Cultural Heri-tage Foundation, Berlin Central and

State Library and Berlin Humboldt University.

“With the foundation works get-ting underway it really is now all system go for the Berlin Palace - Humboldt Forum,” stressed Federal Buildings Minister Dr. Peter Ramsauer. He was fully behind the project, as “the Berlin Palace will be

the cultural calling card for all Ger-many!” Minister of State Bernd Neu-mann emphasises that “after many years of planning and preparations an important milestone has been reached on the path towards rebuild-ing Berlin Palace as the Humboldt Forum.” He stressed: “Berlin Palace will in future be immensely signifi-cant as a place of cultural interaction and international dialogue in the heart of Berlin.” The Governing Mayor of Berlin, Klaus Wowereit, thanked “everybody involved and all those who have worked on the proj-ect for many years for their tireless commitment. Berlin thanks the State, without whose support this building could not be financed.”

Everything is going to plan. The ar-chaeological works have been fin-ished. The cellar and foundation re-mains for the Archaeological Window have been filled in again with sand as a protective measure. Before work begins on the tunnel for the extension of the U5 underground line, which will run under the palace site, the ground needs to be compacted. Con-struction trench walls are currently being produced and the first bored

piles inserted in the area around the Archaeological Window. The founda-tion stone for the Berlin Palace - Hum-boldt Forum is due to be laid by Fed-eral Chancellor Angela Merkel in May 2013. Last October, Federal President Hans Joachim Gauck took over as patron of the project, thus giving it particular high-profile status. To-gether with the ongoing upgrading and renovation of the museum build-ings on Museum Island, what is un-folding here is Germany’s the most important cultural project of the 21st century. It can rightly be said that it’s now all systems go!

By the end of 2015 the basic con-struction of the palace should already be finished. It will be ready for the partners to move in by the end of 2017 and the official opening is planned for 2019, possibly on the 30th anniver-sary of the fall of the Wall – thus cap-ping off the reunification process. In terms of its cityscape the palace heals Berlin’s heart, which was stripped of its soul by the GDR with its dynamite, and makes the city once again the complete architectural work of art that gained it such fame before the War.

It´s now all systems go!by Manfred Rettig

The palace has many fathers: (l. to r.) Klaus Wowereit, Mayor of Berlin, Dr Peter Ramsauer, Federal Minister of Urban Development, Bernd Neumann, Minster of State for Culture, architect Franco Stella and chairman Manfred Rettig.

P U B L I S H E R : F ö R D E R v E R E I N B E R L I N E R S C H L O S S E . v.

1 1 . E d I t I o n · c o m p l E t E c I r c u l a t I o n 1 0 0 . 0 0 0 c o p I E s · f E b r u a r y 2 0 1 3

The Berliner schloss posTFree Copy

We are looking forward to your visit at

Page 2: Berliner Schloss Post Ed 11

Se ite 2 | the Berl iner SchloSS poSt


Dreams come true!by Wilhelm von Boddien

This page shows you pic-tures of people at work on a building site. They are pic-tures that I have dreamt about for decades. Pic-

tures such that when I look at them I have to pinch myself to make sure it’s no longer a dream, but indeed pres-ent-day reality - a feeling not dis-similar to when the Wall came down in 1989.

Construction of the palace began on 21st June. The press and numer-ous dignitaries were in attendance. The symbolic push of the big round button started the drill going. This is now creating dozens of drill holes in

the building site of up to 40 metres in length. They get stabilised with rein-forced steel cores and are then filled with concrete and compacted. Bored pile after bored pile is thus being produced. A rectangle of such piles, positioned closely together, serves to stabilise the historic cellar on the southwest side of the palace, which, as a partially walk-through archaeo-logical window, will remind visitors of the lost past. These piles will ulti-mately support the new Berlin Pal-ace - Humboldt Forum in this area.

After the ground has been com-pacted over the remaining area the palace’s new base slab will be laid there. The base plate of the former Palace of the Republic will be re-tained. It is much lower in the ground than that of the palace, which, as before, will have just one basement level. In the ground below the new palace there will thus soon be two foundation stones: that of the Palace of the Republic and that of the new Humboldt Forum, which is likewise

designed to be a building that serves the people. That too is symbolic of the new Berlin!

After over twenty years of at times heated argument and counter-argu-ment we have reached our objective – and the community of palace sup-porters now numbers tens of thou-sands of people from all over Ger-many and abroad as well, from as far away as America.

However, there is still a great deal to do – for the re-construction of the palace fa-çades we need to successfully raise e 80 million in do-nations. We have – especially con-sidering the in-tense debate sur-rounding the pal-ace – already been very successful and are now in-

deed getting close to the e 24 million mark. But this wonderful figure still falls way short of what is needed: every euro that comes in now is im-mensely important and doubly valu-able, as the reconstruction work on the façade elements is in full swing – and the need for money is constantly rising. Please therefore join us and do what you can to help!

Your reconstruction – webcam:

40-metre steel cores for the bored piles.

Pressing the button.

Shots of the building site.


news: Pages 1 + 2

The Berliner schloss: Pages 3 – 8

The new Berliner schloss-Humboldt- forum: Pages 9 – 16

Reconstruction and modern age: Pages 17 – 23

The reconstruction of the schloss-Façades: Pages 24 – 30

The Humboldtforum: Pages 31 – 39

Public Relations: Pages 40 – 44

Donations: Pages 45 – 47

now it depends on you! Page 48

Page 3: Berliner Schloss Post Ed 11

Berlin city center, 1937, photographed from the Siegessäule [Victory Column] on the Grosse Stern [Great Star Circle]. The Schloss dominates the center of the city. It stretches from the left side of the picture to the right below the tower of the Rathaus [Town Hall], with its southwest corner in the center and onward with the Apothekenflügel [Pharmacy Wing] almost to the Berliner Dom

[Berlin Cathedral]. As the Schloss was ten meters higher than the buildings surrounding it, it towered above the houses on Unter den Linden [Under the Lime-Trees].

Everywhere in Europe, capital cities existed before their palaces. All large

cities in Europe can well be imagined without their palaces.

In Rome, for example, one cannot decide which of the many piazzas should be considered its city center. Paris had already been in existence for more than 1500 years before the Bour-bons built the Palais des Tuileries and the Louvre. The city is identified with much more than the central palace and its surroundings. In 2000 year old Lon-don, the present day governmental quarter and Buckingham Palace arose about 150 years ago. It was in the 19th century that the monarchy transferred its ancient seat from the Tower of Lon-don to this area.

The Schloss, founded in 1443, is al-most as old as the city itself. It was the starting point for the real development of this urban area. At that time the twin cities of Berlin and Cölln had just 6000 inhabitants - a small, village-like town in the midst of the impoverished Mark of Brandenburg.

„Andreas Schlüter, the Schloss’s cre-

ator, was the greatest sculptor and archi-tect in northern Germany. There it stands, with a fascinating power and monumentality, an example of the unique North German Baroque, worthy to stand alongside Michelangelo’s St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome and the Louvre in Paris.

The Schloss dominated the center of Berlin, the square that was created for it, and the streets that led to it. It is the very essence of Berlin for those who would like to see Berlin’s past recreated”.

Johannes Stroux, President of the Academy of Science in Berlin, expanded: „A powerful seriousness is expressed by the city side of the Schloss, while a re-laxed solemnity and open gracefulness reign over the garden side. After Eo-sander’s expansion, the Schloss’s front was turned toward the west from its pre-vious position toward the south.

Now, together with the former Zeughaus [Arsenal] and the Oper Unter den Linden [Opera under the Lime-Trees], the Schloss constituted a monu-mental city core, that only a few other cities had.

»The Schloss did not lie in Berlin – Berlin was the Schloss«

The Schloss, situated on the Spreeinsel [River Spree Island]represented Berlin as a whole.

Berlin’s old city center: Schloss, Berliner Dom [Berlin Cathedral], Museumsinsel [Museum’s Island], and the Zeughaus [Arsenal] as symbols of state authority, religion, culture, and valor are grouped around the Lust-

garten [Pleasure Garden] (left). View of the Schlossfreiheit [Palace’s Free Traders’ Street] (right).

(Statement by Wolf Jobst Siedler)

The Berl iner schloss PosT | 3

The Berliner Schloss

In 1950, Richard Hamann, the Professor of the Art History Institute of Berlin’s Humboldt University, emphasized fighting the demolition of the Berliner Schloss:

”Berlin is poor in monuments of the past,but it has a work that is worthy to rank with the greatest

ones of the past. This work is mentioned and depicted in bookson art history all over the world: The Berliner Schloss.“

Page 4: Berliner Schloss Post Ed 11

The front,facing the garden,

from the northeast,with Eosander’s Portal

[Gate] IV

The façade of Schloss’s westside,designed by the architect Johann Eosander von Göthe,

with the Triumphbogen [Triumphal Arch] modeledafter the Arch of Septimius Severus in Rome.

The dome was built in 1851 by Friedrich August Stüler based on a design by Karl Friedrich Schinkel,

the famous Prussian architect.

The Schlosshof [Courtyard], designed by Andreas Schlüter, North Gate V.

The front, facing the city, from the southeast,

with the majestic Portalen [Gates] I and II

The Courtyard, designed by Andreas Schlüter, North Gate I.

”If the Berliner Schloss is destroyed, we will lose one of the most creative architectural works of art that the world can still call its own, today, after so much has been lost. From the time around the turn of the 17th to 18th century, there are few buildings in Europe that can sur-pass this edifice in its power and its façade treatments with their vivid sculptural clarity.“Statement made by Prof. Dr. Ernst Gall, Director-General of the Prussian and Bavarian Palace Authorities, in 1950.

4 | The Berl iner schloss PosT

The Berliner Schloss

Page 5: Berliner Schloss Post Ed 11

Why Berlin Palace needs to be rebuilt for the sakeof the urban fabric in the city centre

by Prof. Dr. Manfred Klinkott

Following lengthy debate, the deci-sion to reconstruct Berlin Palace

in its outer form has now been taken, yet murmurings of displeasure and vehement, often polemic criticism of the project do not want to die away. Opponents call it ‘neo-Historicism’, a ‘fake’ or a ‘lie’, as the palace’s almost total destruction through its demoli-tion in the early years of the GDR should, they say, be seen as an his-torical act of German post-War his-tory. They also claim that rebuilding the palace would go against our prin-ciples of how to look after historic buildings, which are based on the fundamental policy of preservation, not reconstruction. And as in this particular case, apart from the foun-dations and remnants of cellar walls, nothing remains of the upper struc-ture, they turn this guiding principle into an uncompromising diktat.

It is, however, a diktat that the na-tions of Eastern Europe chose not to follow after the catastrophic destruc-tion of the last World War. The loss of historic structures was just too pain-ful to bear. They had parts of the old town of Gdansk rebuilt, likewise the centre of Warsaw with its previously destroyed royal palace. In St. Peters-burg, too, the Russian historic preser-vation authority reconstructed ru-ined buildings or filled in holes shot in their walls in the original form. In Austria and Germany, too, people were certainly not always prepared to follow the aforementioned princi-ples. Dresden’s Zwinger Palace was not left as a shattered rump, but was restored to its former glory with the utmost care and the use of highly skilled craftsmen. The city’s Frauen-kirche is the latest example of such an approach, while in Munich a block of buildings on Maximilianstrasse that had been sacrificed to the traffic was rebuilt, not as a so-called ‘critical re-construction’, but painstakingly fol-lowing the original design, as they also hope and plan to do in Berlin with the Bauakademie, likewise de-stroyed through demolition.

In all the cities mentioned above it was not the individual building that was seen as the valuable piece of his-toric heritage, but the complete street and public space – the ensemble! And this also answers the question in re-spect of Berlin Palace, which was the most important part of a larger whole. It gave the centre of the city its cohe-sion. As a result of its demolition this was lost, making it then almost im-possible to recognise how the re-maining buildings were designed to relate to each other.

Now, you could naturally ask what it was that made Berlin so architec-

turally unique and noteworthy, set-ting this city apart from other major cities in Europe. If we think of ‘Unter den Linden’, which used to lead as a broad, tree-lined avenue up to the palace and today without this build-ing encounters an empty space, then there are also major axes in Munich, Paris or Rome that are similar and perhaps even grander. So do we have to repair Berlin as a work of urban development art if in an ever-merg-ing Europe substitutes already exist? Can Berlin not be spared the obliga-tions of tradition in order to go its own, above all new way?

Let us first attempt to explain what it is that makes this city unique and very special. A comparison of the five most famous avenues of Europe may show similarities, but it shows differ-ences as well. The most closely re-lated appears to be Paris and the Champs-Elysées. There we have the spatial climax to the road in the form of the Louvre and its grand forecourt. This, however, is a situation that did not come about in the form that we are able to experience it today until 1871, when the burnt-out Tuileries Palace was demolished. Thus now the spatial flow, coming down from the

Place de l’Etoile is caught by the Lou-vre’s side wings and west-facing front and has unmistakably reached its destination, the centre of the city and of the nation.

In Berlin it was different! With the help of the beautiful veduta of paint-ers Eduard Gaertner or Franz Krüger it is possible to describe the city lay-out in the first half of the 19th century, especially the route from the Bran-denburg Gate to the palace, with the key part being primarily the last third of this route, which in our day is sadly greatly impaired by traffic and road markings.

Pariser Platz was the vestibule, the reception room and the start of the city. From there began the avenue of linden trees, with thoroughfares for horse and carriage down either side and a broad central strip for a casual stroll. Stepping out from under the leafy canopy of this eight-hundred-metre long promenade onto Opern-platz, passers-by experienced the ‘Forum Fridericianum’ as an asym-metrical extension of space, with which they could have broken out of the linearly aligned path. However, architect Wenzeslaus von Knobels-dorff had given the opera house such a striking temple-like front that it was bound to draw people’s eyes and movement towards it (illustration 1). Thus here, then still untroubled by any stream of cars, people were al-ready drawn away from the centre of the road towards the side, without however leaving the ‘Linden’, which at that point was now a treeless ave-nue accompanied solely by build-ings. The front of the opera house had, and still has, such a great mag-netic power that it stopped people diverting into the Forum Fridericia-num. At the same time, however, the temple-like look is so sublime that at a relatively short distance from it the observer again stands back. Pausing for a moment, people then notice the second temple-like hall diagonally opposite on the other side of the road – Karl Friedrich Schinkel’s ‘Neue Wache’ (New Guard House – illustra-tion 2.) Thus the pedestrian gets drawn in a diagonal line by this next eye-catching element and crosses the road, only then – again pausing – to turn towards the third magnet, the Kronprinzenpalais (Crown Prince’s Palace), which following its remodel-ling was also given a colonnaded front by architect Heinrich Strack in 1856 (illustration 3). Once again the walker crosses the road and then no-tices the next diagonal visual link to the Zeughaus (Old Arsenal) with its temple-like gable above the central projection. Thus a pendulum move-ment was created that led the road’s spatial flow in a zigzag course towards the royal palace. However, before you entered the area of the royal resi-dence, Schinkel’s bridge with its groups of statues created a gateway situation (illustration 4). It captured the pendulum movement, bundled it up and moulded it back into a straight path heading for the palace.

Then, however, came the remark-able – and in comparison to Paris – totally different element: in Berlin the high and also very long palace façade did not bring the movement to a halt. The building stood at an angle to the

View from the Linden promenade to the temple-like front of von Knobelsdorff ’s opera house. (Extract from a painting by Eduard Gaertner, 1853)

The diagonal visual link between opera house and Schinkel’s Neue Wache (Extract from a picture of a parade by Franz Krüger, 1829)

The Berl iner schloss PosT | 5

The Berliner Schloss

Page 6: Berliner Schloss Post Ed 11

spatial flow, which glided off of it and turned into the ‘Lustgarten’, the city’s primary forum (illustration 4). And it was only there that it came to rest, caught between the front of the pal-ace and the ‘Altes Museum’ (Old Mu-seum), the second important build-ing by Karl Friedrich Schinkel. We thus found ourselves in an area of contrasts, which as an architectural composition gained its greatest ap-peal from the juxtaposition of the fa-çades of these two buildings. As dif-ferent as they were, they both never-theless had an equal aura and gravitas to keep the space in balance.

Given what was in itself a very dif-ficult initial scenario, this was a work of genius by Schinkel. He had given his museum a colonnaded front, thus forging the entire building into a sin-gle monumental entity. This device was necessary, as he could not com-pete with the size of the palace on the opposite side of the gardens. His ‘giant order’ therefore extends over both storeys and thus conceals the fact that there are two floors one above the other. In order to then lessen the monumentality some-what, he chose the Ionic order for his columns and decorated the rear wall of the front portico with a cycle of pictures that are designed to over-come barriers of grandeur and invite people to come in and take a look. In terms of its outer form he modelled this construction on Greek stoas. With this the ‘Lustgarten’ was trans-formed into an agora, a people’s forum, and thus to the showcase cen-tre of the city. Predominant until then, the palace became the border piece of this public space. It opened itself up, however, through its ‘Lust-garten’ portals, from which any mon-umental character had already been taken by the orangery feel given to them by Baroque architect Andreas Schlüter. Despite being smaller in size, the new museum building on the other side of the square would then have thus almost become the more dominant, as the high, two-storey colonnade looks like the front of a temple and elevates the stoa into a holy shrine of the fine arts – a temple of the muses. However, you only fully appreciate that when we go inside the

building and reach the central domed hall. There is no sign of this from out-side as the dome is hidden behind a raised, cubic structure, thus making its impact all the more surprising. Here the entire flow of movement through this aligned sequence of buildings finally comes to a stop and fades away in stately tranquillity.

Now you could easily jump to the premature conclusion that in the en-semble described here Schinkel’s museum alone and not the palace is the most important element and the culmination of the whole. But in such an isolated state as we see it today it gets misunderstood. It stands there with no interrelationships within the urban fabric. It is missing the juxtapo-sition with the contrasting, Baroque façade. And just how important Schinkel regarded the way in which the two buildings corresponded to each other is shown by an etching sketched by him in his volume of ‘Ar-chitektonische Entwürfe’ (Architec-tural Designs – illustration 5). Behind the portico front of his museum he created a stairway with an panoramic gallery so that people could view from there, raised above the level of the busy square, the whole urban space

and the juxtaposition with the royal palace.

And now we are faced in the first instance with the question of whether we want to recreate this space with its exciting contrasts. And that is without yet addressing the pros and cons of reconstructing the palace. If we want to retain the city’s most important

square, its former heart, with its ar-chitectural frame, then we could in-deed also consider a new building to take the place of the royal residence. Numerous proposals have in fact also been submitted and although none of them were satisfactory, the issue of a ‘modern’ structure keeps getting raised, often with an aggressive un-

dertone and stridently calling for a Michelangelo, a Bernini or a Schlüter of our day. But he has yet to appear. And with our totally different meth-ods of design what architectural style should he indeed choose? It would, for example, as has already happened elsewhere, be a fatal mistake to repro-duce the monumental character of the Altes Museum with, for instance, a similar sequence of pillars breaking up the great size of the building as a ‘giant order’ matching the museum’s columns. We would be veering there, without meaning to, into the envi-rons of fascist architecture. Plus the main allure of the square with the lovely, handed-down name of ‘Lust-garten’ lay in the antithesis of palace and museum. It was not a case of two façades mutually competing for dominance. They respected each other, did not demand any subjuga-tion from their counterpart and maintained their independence through the contrast in their architec-tural demeanour.

With any new build that would be the most important thing that would need to be considered in respect of this city planning situation. But if we try to imagine how a façade on this site could look, then the answer to the question remains totally unclear. There are certainly very many possi-bilities, which, however, show us that our architecture is fragmented in many different directions. That has already been shown by unconvincing design proposals featuring strict functionality or embarrassing gim-mickry. However, that has nothing to do with the abilities or creativity of our contemporary architects. The end of the twentieth century clearly heralded a time of change. Architects may not like to be told so, but the ‘post modern’ movement was already a criticism of ‘modern’ architecture and, like other architectural styles, definitely bore Mannerist traits that are comparable to 16th century trends. The reconstruction of the German pavilion in Barcelona, which Mies van der Rohe had built for the international expo in 1929 and that as a result of demolition no longer ex-isted, is a yearning look back to the early days of our era. But 80 years have

Unter den Linden opening out onto the Lustgarten, with palace, cathedral and Altes Museum. Based on a pencil drawing by K. F. Schinkel, 1823

Panoramic gallery in the Altes Museum with view of the Lustgartenand palace on the opposite side.

(K. F. Schinkel, Collection of Architectural Designs, Berlin, 1866, page 43)

The ‘Crown Prince’s Palace’, remodelled by Heinrich Stack in 1856-58,with its portico in front of the central projection.

6 | The Berl iner schloss PosT

The Berliner Schloss

Page 7: Berliner Schloss Post Ed 11

passed since then. We cannot remain stuck in a rut, committed to classi-cally modern architecture. It has to change with the times and this pro-cess is already in a very eventful phase. We are currently in a crisis, which, however, is experimenting and looking creatively for new ways of doing things. Yet no matter how imaginative and interesting the di-versity of design may now be, it nev-ertheless clearly bears the signs of a general uncertainty. And this uncer-tainty, these traits of crisis cannot be allowed to stamp the character of a building that is to stand on the most important site of the city of Berlin, in its centre, at its heart.

There is also something else that complicates matters greatly: the pal-ace had a façade facing the Lustgar-ten that was a good 200 metres in length and almost 30 metres high. These days we hardly ever tackle long, even rows of windows in such dimen-sions. If accentuated elements were added through changes in the rhythm or structure, that would destroy the distinguished, calm unison that needs to be maintained here as a counterpart to the museum. The new building also cannot be allowed to become a stand-alone sculpture, the façade not permitted to be a back-drop for some graphic linear gim-mickry! However, the building should not have a monotone feel and in order to achieve that we lack an important design element that Baroque archi-tecture possessed. Only it had the ability with architectural ornamenta-tion to serenely transmit extreme grandeur, to convey a monumental air and despite the sense of gravity to also have a joyful countenance.

Yet still to come is the critical ques-tion of whether in this era we are still able to achieve the quality of Baroque façade architecture. The palace in Berlin was a masterpiece of architect and sculpture Andreas Schlüter. How can we therefore be so impudent as to copy such an outstanding, unique building with its great decorative sculptures? This admonition is con-stantly getting levelled against the reconstruction from an art and archi-tectural history perspective. Yet it is important here to remember first of all that, as the king’s chief architect, Andreas Schlüter had many tasks and we would be foolish to imagine that on this major palace project has was also able to find much time for chisel-ling. He will have made masters, sometimes getting personally in-volved. Then, however, there were lots of helpers who created the orna-mental pieces with greater or lesser degrees of skill. And the inevitable differences in quality (as can inciden-tally still be seen from the preserved remnants) hardly mattered, as the complicated pieces were mainly mounted at a great height on the fa-çade’s fascia and thus out of reach of any close examination. The two por-tals on the Lustgarten side of the pal-ace will present more of a problem. But there too we should not underes-

timate our sculptures’ talents. They have already done some outstanding work. The Hercules on the Rampart Pavilion of Dresden’s Zwinger Palace is, for example, also a copy from the post-War era and in no way fails to do justice to the original! The statues on the parapet of Berlin’s Zeughaus have

been replaced by reproductions, as what really matters is the overall im-pression. The work of Schlüter or his team of sculptures should be avail-able to be studied closely by viewing the remaining originals in an exhibi-tion. About one thing, however, we have to be clear: a reconstructed pal-

ace is and always will be a copy. That cannot be changed! But the stubborn aversion to a reconstruction es-poused in a few journals is, as we know, not just based on that. There are more reconstructed ‘historic’ buildings in the world than we would like to admit. Just think of the Campa-

nile on St. Mark’s Square in Venice. In Berlin, however, we are burdened by the Prussian factor, our own past with its great catastrophes. And it is above all from this distaste for the che-quered course of our history that the rejection of the Hollenzollern’s palace also stems. However, quite apart from the fact that the generally dissemi-nated picture of matters Prussian is largely distorted, we must not in this case transfer the politics of that era onto the building. When Schlüter designed the palace and when con-struction began in 1699, there was no Prussian state yet in existence. The client was still the Electoral Prince of Brandenburg and he will have scarcely had any notion of what is specifically Prussian any more than Schlüter, who orientated himself on Rome and Paris. His role model was Bernini! The Louvre project must have fascinated him, so too the clear lines of Versailles, from which Schlüter drew his inspiration for the design of the portal on the south fa-çade of his palace.

Contrary to what some claim, there was nothing Wilhelmine at all to be found on the outside of the palace. The ‘Weiße Saal’ (White Hall) inside the palace, remodelled by Ernst von Ihne, did belong to the Wilhelmine Period. However, Ihne was a student of the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris and the ‘Wilhelmine’ style, like many other building styles in cosmopolitan cities, followed the French architec-ture of the time and was certainly not Prussian. In this era too German ar-chitecture was influenced by Europe and showed that, as in the past, it was interlinked with the major artistic cities’ international exchange of de-sign forms. And the role Berlin played in this was not just one of recipient, of taker.

The city was also a source of ideas that shaped European architecture! When we go, for instance, into the inner courtyard of the Louvre we recognise reflected in the floors erected under the rule of Napoleon I by Charles Percier and Pierre Fran-cois Leonard Fontaine the portal of Berlin Palace’s south façade, which – as already mentioned – was, however, already a product itself of influences from Italy and France. Thus, despite all the wars, there was a give and take in intellectual life and thus also in art. The loss of the palace, however, means that this valuable exchange of thoughts and ideas is no longer clearly visible in Berlin. Old plans, wooden models and photographs are not ad-equate to enable us to experience it again.

And yet the experience is what mat-ters! Only with the urban fabric and palace façades restored will it be pos-sible to experience and truly grasp the three-way relationship between Rome, Paris and Berlin and it is pre-cisely because of the dark passages in our German history that this tradition is so important, as it places us visibly within the context of the European community.

Unter den Linden, looking east from the Staatsbibliothek (National Library)

Central Berlin 1937. Aerial photograph, taken from the west. With a huge footprint measuring arounda 120 x 200m and an eaves height of 31m (74m up to the top of the dome), the palace dominated the

heart of the city. The showcase Unter den Linden boulevard began at the Brandenburg Gate, based on thepropylaeae of Athens, which was the gateway to the palace. The palace in turn formed the final point of this

important avenue and was the gravitational centre of old Berlin.

The Berl iner schloss PosT | 7

The Berliner Schloss

Page 8: Berliner Schloss Post Ed 11

On February 3rd, 1945, during one of the heaviest Allied air raids, in-cendiary and demolition bombs destroyed the Berliner Schloss [Ber-

lin Palace]. It burned for almost four days. No efforts were made to extinguish the fire. After almost two years of daily air raids, the Ber-

liners had resigned. There was no use of trying to put out a fire, when another air raid would undo all the attempts the following day.

Berlin’s destroyed city center with Schloss and Berliner Dom [Berlin Cathedral] in 1945

»We had a choice: Palace or Cathedral. Had we pulled down the Cathedral, we would have been accused of ‘attacking the church’. We would have provided the West with ammunition for years to come. Therefore, we decided to tear down the Schloss. We would be able to deal with the art historians all right«.

(Wilhelm Girnus,a then Under-State Secretary for Technical and SecondaryEducation to-be,in 1951.)

»The center of our Capital, the Lustgarten[Pleasure Garden], and the area of the current Schlossruine [ruins of the Palace] have to become a great parade square, where we will express the people’s will to fight and rebuild our State«.

(Walter Ulbricht, Secretary-General of the SED[Sozialistische Einheitspartei Deutschlands –Socialist Unity Party of Germany, the East German Communist Party] in 1950.)

»Therefore, my conscience is clear. Right now,everyone is making a lot of noise. Once thebuilding is gone, there will not be anyone talking about it anymore«.

(OttoGrotewohl, Head of State of the GDR, in 1950.)

Yet it turned out that the huge building was less damaged

than the Charlottenburger Schloss [Charlottenburg Palace] in the western part of Berlin. Burned out, the Schloss remai-ned solid and firm in its foundati-ons.

Its demolition five years later was clearly an arbitrary act: For ideological reasons, the political leadership of the German Demo-cratic Republic wanted to root out Prussian history. This was the reason, why the Berliner Stadt-schloss [Berlin City Palace], the Potsdamer Stadtschloss [Pots-dam City Palace] as well as the Potsdamer Garnisonskirche [Potsdam Garrison Church] were demolished. There is no doubt that these buildings could have been reconstructed. The Char-lottenburger Schloss [Charlot-tenburg Palace], the Würzburger Residenzschloss [Wuerzburg Re-sidence], and many other archi-tectural gems, destroyed during the World War II and subse-quently rebuilt, may serve as proof.

When, in July of 1950, the GDR’s Council of Ministers deci-ded on the demolition of the Schloss, opposition mounted. Protests were voiced across the political spectrum. Here, are some statements by advocates and opponents of the Schloss’s demolition. Even today they ring with emotion.

Demolition of a part of the façade on the south side of the Schloss; the explosion caught

two street sweepers by surprise

War Damage in 1945 –Demolition in 1950

Page 9: Berliner Schloss Post Ed 11

Berliner Schloss, September 1950. Portal V with the pilaster Hermes “Spring” and “Summer”. View into the most important hall of

the Schloss, the Knight’s Hall.

One can clearly see how wellpreserved the

plasterwork of the burned out room still is after 5 1⁄2 years of beingexposed to the

weather without protection.

The Knight’s Hall could have been

reconstructed to a great extent in

accordance with the original.

Yet all this was destroyed in the


»As long as someone does not forcibly shut my mouth, I will not stop protesting against this decision, and indeed, not as a supporter of the West, but rather as a son of the East who is bound in my inmost being to Berlin and its culture and who is at pains in questions of cul-ture to give preference to the East as to those things which it has a right to through its great legacy of art, like the Berliner Schloss.«

(Prof. Dr. Richard Hamann, Dean of the Art History Facultyof the East Berlin HumboldtUniversity, 1950)

»In consideration of its Euro-pean artistic importance, and its historical, urban, and social historical importance, and further in view of the fact that the Schloss is a testimony to Berlin architecture over 5 cen-turies, The German Academy of Science opposes the planned final destruction of the Schloss with the gravest misgivings. The Academy does this in fulfill-ment of its responsibility and its duty to involve itself in the preservation of the culture he-ritage of the German people in general and the protection of monuments in particular. Among the objects of this sort to be looked after, the Schloss stands in the foremost rank.«

(Prof. Dr. Johannes Stroux,President of the Academy of Science, East Berlin, 1950)

»The resulting formlessly spreading open space would have on its eastern edge (not even at its center) the cathedral as its only accent – that pseudo-techtonic construction of mi-sunderstood overblown pomp which has always disturbed the viewer and now, in its isolation, will be even more obtrusive. Do we really want this? Next to the towering cathedral dome, no building in the same avenue – only separated from it by the width of one street – can be erec-ted that can somehow domi-nate the area. It will always be repressed by the cathedral.«(Ernst Gall 1950)

»The people in power in East Berlin perceive the fame of the Schloss as a discordant note from a long passed cult of nobi-lity. This has irritated their sen-sitive eardrums and must now be hushed. They prefer to hear their own noises on the demon-stration square which they have built on the site of the de-molished Schloss. Yet this bleak square will also one day be-come a monument, a monu-ment to lack of respect, to nar-row mindedness, and to spiri-tual poverty.«

(Prof. Ragnar Josephson, Svenska Dagbladet, Stockholm, 1950)

September 9, 1950. The southwest corner of the Schlosshas been torn down

This is what remained after the removal of the Schloss:The desolate demonstration plaza 1951

Page 10: Berliner Schloss Post Ed 11

The Humboldt Forum: Reconstruction anddevelopment of Berlin Palace

by Prof. arch. Franco Stella

The reconstruction of Berlin Palace is based on a resolution of the

German parliament, the Bundestag, passed in 2004. This resolution stipu-lates that the Humboldt Forum is to be created within the footprint of the former palace, with its three Baroque outer façades and the inner Baroque façades of the eastern courtyard, i.e. the Schlüter Courtyard (Schlüterhof). It further stipulates that a dome should again crown the western side, although nothing is said about its design.

This order of parliament produces two requirements: the reconstruc-tion of the historic façades as authen-tically as possible, for which in this case the Stuhlemmer firm of archi-tects in Berlin is responsible, and the planning of the modern parts of the building, which is my task.

In the competition design that I submitted – and, of course, in the

final version – the reconstructed and newly constructed parts come to-gether to form one holistic structure, with no attempt at any compromise of style or design between the respec-tive parts. That means that the archi-tecture of the new combines with the architecture of the old on the basis of the same rational rules and princi-ples. There will be no stylistic assimi-lation, much less any syncretism, which in itself would already be an expression of a taste for a specific era or of a personal architectural style. The old and the new will instead have their own specific form.

The primary principle is respect for the identity of each style. The brief to reconstruct the historic façades rules out any modernisation of the Ba-roque style – for instance, following the principles of so-called ‘critical re-construction’. Conversely, however, the new parts to be built will not be a

mere paraphrase of the old: there is neither any intention here to create a simplified version of the old – for in-stance, a cut-down modern neo-Ba-roque – nor any question of ‘an-tiquifying’ the modern style of design. Indeed, it is precisely through this relationship with the old that the new

attains the character of being time-lessly modern. This notion of archi-tectural beauty is based on the visu-alisation of history and widely under-standable forms. The new structure is designed to complement the old palace so that together both parts can fulfil the physical and intellectual task intended for them.

What does this physical and intel-lectual task entail? As mentioned above, the size of the future Hum-boldt Forum will largely match the interior dimensions of Berlin Palace, which Andreas Schlüter, Johann Friedrich von Eosander and Martin Böhme developed at the start of 18th century into the complex that then served the Prussian kings and Ger-man Kaisers as their official residence through to the end of the First World War. The 18th century architects modelled their work on scores of monuments from Roman antiquity,

on Roman Renaissance and Roman Baroque, excerpts of which they syn-thesised into a new style of design. Following the First World War, the palace served as a museum. Between 1943 and 1945 it suffered extensive damage. In 1950, it fell victim to the political ideology of the GDR and was demolished. Two decades later the so-called ‘Palace of the Republic’ rose up in its place.

In the future, under the name the ‘Humboldt Forum’, the palace will be a ‘global centre’ of art and culture, especially for the presentation of non-European cultures, that will combine with the neighbouring Mu-seum Island to form a “single concep-tual unit of cultural heritage, knowl-edge, encounter and experience”.

It is important to point out that when the members of the German parliament passed the resolution to rebuild the Baroque façades they

The New Humboldt Forum,Lustgarten, Cathedral and Museum's Island:

The new and ancient Centre of Berlin

10 | The Berl iner schloss PosT

The new Berliner Schloss – Humboldtforum

Page 11: Berliner Schloss Post Ed 11

The Palace from the Boulevard Unter den Linden

were unquestionably convinced of the extraordinary quality of Schlüter’s and Eosander’s architecture. How-ever, the resolution did not express any fundamental aesthetic prefer-ence. It was not a matter of valuing Baroque architecture as fundamen-tally better than its modern counter-part. Rather parliament perceived a high cultural and societal value in the reconstruction of the façades, be-cause they do indeed have an extraor-dinary cultural and societal value. For it is only with its historic façades that the Humboldt Forum can arouse an awareness of history and provide a sense of identity.

Essentially, I think that adding modern structures to the old can suc-ceed if you pick up on some elemen-tary elements and thus carry these over into a modern form of design that perceives them as their ‘transla-tion’ into the language of modern ar-chitecture. New lines are thus to an extent being added in modern form to an old text, while its core message remains the same. These additional lines can even be a kind of commen-tary that explains and interprets the old. In concrete terms this means that the new picks up on a building’s type or underlying idea. In this case it means that the former significance of the palace also gets absorbed into the new parts that are to be added. For the palace was, indeed, not just an archi-tectural symbol of power, it also housed a very significant library and

a large art collection. It is from these that the Berlin State Library and the Berlin Museums later evolved. Fur-thermore the Schlüter Courtyard was designed as a forum, in which in its day court life was played out as if in a

theatre. The intention now is that the parts to be built in a modern style will recall all of these elements – forum, library, art collection and theatre. Clearly this is not comparable with recalling an actual person, an indi-

vidual entity. Rather it is about creat-ing an analogy of place, function and outer appearance. The Humboldt Forum, built on the site of the demol-ished palace, is intended to pick up on key attributes of the original build-

ing and adapt to them in a modern way (as Schlüter, Eosander and Böhme also adapted their work to Roman architecture in the 18th cen-tury): with his modern architecture the architect thus enters a tradition that he now interprets in a new way – namely, in one that does not destroy the tradition, yet fits in well in the new age and suits modern building proj-ects. For this reason, the palace’s Ba-roque façades do need to be recon-structed in their original form: this is not about rebuilding a palace, but about remembering history. The new Humboldt Forum should be a place of cultural commemoration and cul-tural self-affirmation. On top of this comes the additional task of the pal-ace needing to fit perfectly into the context of the surrounding build-ings.

The new structure is designed to fulfil these requirements to such a degree that it will give the impression that Berlin Palace had always been there. To avoid any misunderstand-ings let me stress that this will not be a case of manipulating history, of act-ing as if the palace had not been de-molished, as if there had been no World War, no GDR and no Palace of the Republic. Rather it is about the concept and design per se being so in keeping that the building feels totally natural in its overall appearance and on this site. The building must be ut-terly credible.

Let me explain these ideas more The Agora

The Berl iner schloss PosT | 1 1

The new Berliner Schloss – Humboldtforum

Page 12: Berliner Schloss Post Ed 11

precisely. Firstly, the outer walls are going to consist of solid ma-sonry over one metre thick. The façades are thus not mock struc-tures made up of thousands of individual pieces and simply hung on or applied to the body of the building. Instead they spread around it like a skin with no joints. What’s more, via the win-dows’ stone frames and reveals and the fully integrated cornices the façade surfaces are joined firmly to the core masonry. From a technical perspective alone it would therefore be totally im-possible for the palace to be ini-tially built without its Baroque outer skin, as occasionally claimed in the press.

Secondly, another element of any ‘credible’ reconstruction ought to be that via the north, west, south and Schlüter Court-yard façades called for by parlia-ment the insides of all the parts that directly carry on the outer appearance should be incorpo-rated into the reconstruction as well. That means in the first place the insides of portals II (the for-mer city side), III (west side) and IV (Pleasure Gardens side), which all led into the former Eosander Courtyard (Eosanderhof). Eo-sander had designed them as counterparts to the external por-tals and thus linked them with these via colonnades. The com-petition design at least then also makes provision for the recre-ation of the remaining façades of the Eosander Courtyard. And last but not least, the intention is for the dome that Friedrich August Stüler erected over portal risalit III in the middle of the 19th century to rise up again. Erecting this in some modern form, as allowed as an alternative by the parliament resolution, is not the plan. Finally, it is also envisaged that the stair-cases that used to exist behind the three risalits of the Schlüter Courtyard and in which the fa-çade architecture carried on through to the inside will also be reconstructed within the me-dium term.

On the other hand, some parts will be completely redesigned. These include the west side of the Schlüter Courtyard, which will replace two buildings from the 16th and early 17th century. To-gether with the eastern end of the adjacent Eosander Courtyard, the back of this wing forms an extended passage that is being called the Palace Forum (Schloss-forum). Within this Palace Forum the previously mentioned insides of portals II and IV, which had al-ways served as the courtyard’s entrance and exit, form the two ends. As such they form eye-catching elements inside the pas-sage that give the elongated space a special dynamism.

The eastern façade facing the

Spree is also being totally rede-signed. Called the Belvedere, it will replace a very inhomoge-neous group of buildings from the Middle Ages and Renaissance.

Being created on the site of the former Eosander Courtyard there is also the so-called Agora, which, in addition to the four wings that border it, also includes two inserted cubes.

In terms of placing Berlin Pal-ace in context with its surround-ings, the Palace Forum forms the entrance courtyard to the Hum-boldt Forum. This is designed to have the effect that, unlike the old palace, the new building turns out not to be a closed block that separates the south from Mu-seum Island to the north. Rather the palace is intended – as an in-tegral part of Museum Island – to now become a link between it and the wider city.

To this end the Palace Forum creates a passage that will be open 24/7 from Palace Square (Schlossplatz) in the south to the Pleasure Gardens (Lustgarten) in the north and from there to the broad Unter den Linden avenue, leading off to the west. Moreover the passage gives the palace the public nature that it needs in order to satisfy its role as a forum. As far as its design is concerned, it is adorned down both sides with rows of columns lined one above the other, which are remi-niscent of the colonnaded halls of Greek and Roman squares and act as a reference to the place’s public character. In proportion and style they are also reminis-cent of numerous famous squares in European cities, such as the Piazza degli Uffizi in Flor-ence. As is the case there, the ar-chitecture follows the classic rules of solid-wall and column-based construction.

The Agora is a spacious en-trance and reception hall, a kind of covered piazza, which stretches out between the Ba-roque courtyard walls and the inserted cubes, as well as be-tween the cubes themselves. While in the case of the Baroque façades the wall is the primary element into which the windows are in effect placed, the modern façades consist of a form of sec-tional architecture, which in line with the so-called trilithon sys-tem is created from a series of columns carrying an entabla-ture.

It is thus like a hypostyle, i.e. a form of architecture that in con-trast to the classic peristyle has the colonnade not on the outside but on the inside. Its open, grid-patterned roof also resembles a glass sky. Cutting through the Agora along its central axis is a staircase that leads below ground to the lower floor. Here there will be rooms that are designed to be The Schlüter Court Yard

12 | The Berl iner schloss PosT

The new Berliner Schloss – Humboldtforum

Page 13: Berliner Schloss Post Ed 11

The palace’s suites and stairways of great historic value are being

planned in such a way that it will be possible for later generations to re-construct the most important ele-ments of the palace’s interior.

At present this is not possible for both financial and political reasons.

Stella’s design, however, achieves the optimum scenario for a consen-

sus right across society. Nor is this approach uncommon.

In Augsburg too it was 30 years after the modern reconstruction of the fa-mous Renaissance town hall that its interior ‘Goldener Saal’ (Golden Hall) was recreated.

The same can happen at Berlin Pa-lace – if that’s one day what society wants.

Reconstruction of important interior rooms of the historic palace still

possible at a later date

Apocalyptic scars of demolition to be visiblein Humboldt Forum

Running north to south below the

dome-topped Eo-sander Portal there used to be a 60-metre passageway with a solid tunnel vault.

When the portal was blown up, hundreds of tons of dynamite tore up this passageway and lifted the portal 30 cen-timetres into the air, before it broke up as it came crashing down. All that is left of the passageway are the craters made by the dynamite and the tattered sidewalls, as seen here.

It is intended to make this evidence of the apocalypse of the palace’s demolition visible within the new construction. As people in future walk through the Eosander Portal they will see the transverse passageway illuminated beneath their feet through glass panels in the ground.

Stella's design of the Spreefacade

utilised by a wider public: theatre fa-cilities, an auditorium, a restaurant and a café.

On the east side of the Agora two flights of stairs, which are clearly vis-ible through the façade, run away from each other up to the floors above. On the first floor to the rooms being used for academic cultural

purposes (library and Humboldt Uni-versity facilities) and on the second into the museum exhibition area with exhibits of non-European art.

The Belvedere forms a façade to the palace that through its very moder-nity seeks to make a connection with the modern post-War architecture around Alexanderplatz. At the same

time it also forms a public space stretching out to the water. In order to make it clear that this is a public place and not a residential building the competition design provides for open balconies, behind which expansive stairways lead up to the viewing plat-form on the roof. Over and above its great scenographic character, the

combination of looking and climbing maps the façade of the Old Museum (Altes Museum), which as we know Karl Friedrich Schinkel had designed as a response to Schlüter’s palace fa-çades.

As the example of the Belvedere shows, the idea is that the modern parts of the future Humboldt Forum

should do more than just further de-velop the palace of Schlüter and Eo-sander. The intention is to further develop, and to a certain extent com-plete, the Museum Island as a whole. The Humboldt Forum is thus de-signed to help close the gaping, open wound that currently still scars the heart of city.

The Berl iner schloss PosT | 13

The new Berliner Schloss – Humboldtforum

Page 14: Berliner Schloss Post Ed 11

Se ite 14 | the Berl iner SchloSS poSt

The new Berliner Schloss-Humboldtforum

A beautiful buildingThe exterior of the palace is nearing its ultimate form. Architect Franco Stella

has given the transition on the Lustgarten side from the Schlüter façade into his modern east façade a far more harmonious look. Facing onto Schlossplatz it has also been possible with the help a donor in late 2011 to add Schlüter’s round corner tower, so that here too the historic façade is now finished off in its classic form.

The modern façades on the eastern side and in the Schlüter Courtyard are being put together from prefabricated sections, which have joints between them. These could potentially be worked up into shadow gaps, which would give the façades a series of fine divisions. We have illustrated this here with simple lines.

Based on a test painting of the sample section, the historic façades’ colour scheme has been approved by the Expert Reconstruction Committee and only marginal modifications are now to be expected in this regard. All in all: it is going to be a beautiful building!

Berlin 2019: the Berlin Palace - Humboldt Forum from the cathedral’s small southeast dome. The transition of the Schlüter façade into Stella’s modern eastern side works well, while discrete, historically influenced colouring in keeping with the location embeds the palace into its historic surroundings.

Page 15: Berliner Schloss Post Ed 11

the Berl iner schloss post | se ite 15

The new Berliner Schloss-Humboldtforum

In spring 2012, the sample façade, a first component of the new Berlin Palace, was completed in full-scale authentic format. Its surface area corresponds to just one half of one per cent of the palace’s three Baroque outer façades, which are now due to be reconstructed. The palace was that huge!

The upper half of the Schlüter win-dow bay, consisting of parade floor window, mezzanine, cornice and balustrade has been fully recon-structed, including all decorative el-ements, such as the eagle, the ini-tialled cartouche, the ram’s heads and the laurel gar-lands. For structural and for cost reasons it was decided not to reconstruct the bot-tom half, which for test sam-pling was also not neces-sary.

The façade is in the truest sense of the world exem-

plary. The whole wall structure matches that of the later palace. In front of the concrete skin on the in-side is the insulation layer. This is then followed by a brick wall, c. 80cm thick, into which the sandstone fa-çade elements have been embed-ded. Also inside the brick wall is a thick, zinc-plated pipe, the palace roof’s internal drain.

The sandstone elements were fixed in place in accordance with the old tradition. The only change being that casting lead was no longer used, replaced instead by corresponding

anchors made of non-rusting stain-less steel.

Sandstone of several different provenances was built into the sam-ple section, in order to also test which sorts were truly the optimum choice, not only in relation to ap-pearance, but also in terms of resis-tance to weathering. The palace’s future colouring is also being tested on this section. The next time you visit the Humboldt Box you should definitely take a look at the façade. It is situated directly opposite the ca-thedral next to the River Spree.

Exemplary façade

A journey to the quarries of Saxony and SilesiaThere is scarcely any aspect that

is of greater importance to the re-construction of the palace façades than the selection of the right sandstone for the different façade elements. Depending on how the stone is going to be worked and what it will have to withstand, three quality grades are required: a soft stone for the finely sculpted pieces, a harder stone for the sim-pler sculptures and a tough stone for the cornices and all parts of the façades directly exposed to the el-ements, as this withstands such environmental influences the best. The burden placed on the stones over the decades is enor-mous. They store lots of moisture and are subjected to great fluctua-tions in temperature, plus direct sunlight, frost, snow and rain. The dew point in the stone therefore plays a major role.

In the 18th century, Andreas Schlüter travelled personally to Saxony into the Elbe Sandstone Mountains near Pirna to the south of Dresden. In logistical terms these were the closest to Berlin Palace. He is said to have even had his own quarry there. In those days transportation presented the big-gest problem. After all, unlike today there was no well-developed road or rail network for bringing the incredibly heavy blocks of stone to Berlin to be worked on. Even transporting the stone from the quarry to the loading point on

the side of the Elbe presented a huge problem that could only be overcome with a massive effort from man and beast. The only op-tion for onward transportation to Berlin was the Elbe, the Havel and

finally the Spree. The stones were shipped down river along the Elbe and then towed up river against the current along the Havel and the Spree, i.e. the barges were pulled by teams of horses on the

riverbank all the way to the palace building site. This extremely tough work was immensely time-con-suming and expensive. While today the material costs compared to the wages of the stonemasons

and sculptors are at a ratio of 1: 10, the stone alone was therefore often more expensive than the piece-rate wages paid for it to be worked on and sculpted into shape. The Elbe Sandstone Moun-

Thorough and careful preparations for selecting the palace façade stones:

A quarry in Silesia…

Page 16: Berliner Schloss Post Ed 11

Se ite 16 | the Berl iner SchloSS poSt

The new Berliner Schloss-Humboldtforum

tains were thus the only range from which the building materials could be extracted at a cost that was even halfway predictable. The soft sculptor’s stone was accord-ingly Cotta stone, the medium-hard grade Reinhardsdorf stone and the hard grade Posta stone, named in each case after the loca-tion of the seam within the moun-tain range. As the quarries were increasingly exhausted they mi-grated away from their original location – and thus the quality of the stone also often changed.

But they took what they could get, without thinking about dura-

bility, i.e. without worrying about how long the pieces of work would last, there being, after all, no other option. And thus after not even a hundred years since its expansion by Schlüter and Eosander the pal-ace fell into disrepair, because much of the stone failed to with-stand the constant changes be-tween rain, frost, heat and arid air. Ultimately at the start of the 19th century under Friedrich Wilhelm III the palace had to be refur-bished over many areas of it fa-çades. All of the parapet statues were taken down due to their weathered state. Some have been

preserved to this day in the de-positories and provide wonderful testimony to the high level of the 18th century sculptors’ creative skills – and to the dramatic decay of the stone caused by environ-mental influence, as even then due to the thousands of chimneys in built-up areas they already had acid rain, it was just that nobody was aware of it.

In the 19th century, as a result of Berlin’s canal link to the Oder, builders in Berlin increasingly used Silesian sandstone, which was more durable. Today we are able to order the required sand-stone from all sorts of different quarries, matching in exemplary fashion to the respective façade part and the demands placed upon it. Due to its better durability the sandstone for the restoration of Cologne Cathedral, for instance, no longer comes from the Siebengebirge Mountains just a few kilometres to the south, but in part even from quarries in the sec-tion of the Elbe Sandstone Moun-tains located inside the Czech Re-public, because expert crystallo-graphic reports prove that the stone from there is likely to last longer. What then could have made more sense than, accompa-nied by academic experts, to visit a number of important quarries in order establish the bases for pro-curing thousands of tons of sand-stone for the reconstruction of the palace façade?

In May, a party of key personnel therefore travelled to Saxony and Silesia to view local projects and to hold discussions with the local experts. The party included Man-fred Rettig, the Berlin Palace - Humboldt Forum Foundation’s executive board spokesman, Ber-thold Just, Director of the Palace Construction Workshop in Spandau, geologist Dr. Angela Eh-

ling from the Federal Institute for Geosciences and Natural Re-sources and Wilhelm von Boddien, whose Friends of Berlin Palace association is responsible via its fund-raising efforts for the financ-ing of the palace façades.

The result was encouraging: there are sufficient deposits of high quality stone to satisfy both the sculptors’ current demands and the needs of sustainability in order, taking advantage of market competition, to buy the required quantities of the three main grades at reasonable prices. This had to be clarified before building activ-

ity started and tender documents began to be developed.

In August the results were dis-cussed at the foundation in a first meeting of the Expert Reconstruc-tion Committee established for this purpose – the process has begun and will carry on further.

However, the sculptors to be commissioned will also have a say on ‘their’ stone and their judge-ment incorporated case by case. This, after all, is also part of the centuries old tradition of their trade. It is ultimately they who cre-ate from a raw block a sublime work of art!

A block being sliced up using a frame saw. Salvaging the blocks of stone using heavy equipment.

Manfred Rettig, Berthold Just and Dr. Angela Ehling at a stonemason’s yard.

Görlitz, the pearl of Lusatia, border town between Saxony and Silesia. … and one in Saxony.

Page 17: Berliner Schloss Post Ed 11

Construction and reconstructionof historic continuity

by Winfried Nerdinger

Down the centuries the training of artists and architects has been

based on copying models and tem-plates, while art and architecture de-veloped via reproduction, adapta-tion, citation and repetition. These principles were also part of the foun-dations, for example, of all Roman art. It nevertheless has its own identity and creativity and buzzwords from the ‘arsenal of modern art history’ such as ‘copyist’s art’ or ‘eclecticism’ ‘in no way do justice’ to the ‘core na-ture’ of this period. Palladio’s Villa Rotunda spawned hundreds of cop-ies, adaptations and reworkings, which over many centuries carried his ideas on into numerous countries and inspired new trends. But they did not deceive anyone or rewrite history. There is only any sense in passing moral judgement on ‘reproduction’ when it intentionally sets out to de-ceive in order to gain an advantage or when a truth is ascribed to the origi-nal that ought to be afforded only to it and therefore any form of iterative reproduction gets effectively deval-ued as an immoral process (albeit that ‘original’ here generally only means a building’s state at a fixed point in time, which itself has fre-quently been repaired, modified or restored over the course of history).

Architects who reconstruct a lost or ruined building are not deceiving anybody, nor forging anything. The reconstruction is always a new build-

ing, which, despite historic styles, is always recognisable as such to people of the present day. It also always re-mains identifiable as a reproduction to future generations via ap-propriate sources and docu-mentation. Anyone looking at Christopher Wren’s famous Royal Hospital in the Chelsea district of London learns only from a small panel at the en-trance that part of the building was destroyed in the First World War and reconstructed in the 1920s and that another part was hit by a bomb in the Second World War and subse-quently rebuilt in its old form. At the entrance to Polish churches there is often a pho-tograph of the ruined building during the War and a notice giving the date of its recon-struction. There is no lying, no falsification or deceit going on here, but rather through the reproduction of structural forms a memory is being pre-served and passed on to subse-quent generations. Anyone who does not see the notices or who believes that the old towns of Warsaw, Gdansk, Wroclaw and Poznan are ‘historic’ is not being deceived, rather they are poorly informed.

After the First World War, as hundreds of towns and villages

and thousands of buildings lay in ruins in Belgium, northern France and East Prussia there were country-wide campaigns calling for ‘Recon-

struction’. This was both a political aim and the wish of the people and it went ahead without any great debate about whether this would ‘falsify’ his-

tory or create buildings that were ‘lies’. Some changes were made based on functional re-quirements, supposedly na-tional forms were occasionally given greater emphasis and some people promoted model-ling of the buildings ‘in keeping with the times’. Overall, how-ever, what was built were his-toric reproductions, some of which are now of national im-portance as evidence of the past and have contributed to shaping the ‘cultural memory’ of subsequent generations. If you walk today through the centre of Arras, Diksmuide or Ypres, you will find yourself in a town with an historic dimen-sion, even though almost ev-erything you see before you originates from the third de-cade of the last century.

It was not until after the Sec-ond World War that - led by ar-chitects and preservationists - there were any public moral debates about reconstruction. In light of the destruction and wartime crimes these gained a particular ethical dimension and persuasiveness. Modern architects, whose self-percep-

tion and understanding of history had been shaped by the battle against the ‘false’ architecture of the 19th century, against the supposedly un-creative, eclectic use of historic forms, declared any reconstruction a lie and a betrayal of the present. In a 1947 manifest it thus categorically said: “We must not allow our destroyed heritage to be reconstructed in his-torical style. It must be created in a new form for new tasks.” They wanted to clear away the psychological wreckage along with the physical ruins and then build up a new, better world. The use of historic design and the expression of modernity were re-duced to the moral opposites of lie and honesty, a polarisation that often remained dominant even after his-tory returned via the architecture of the post-modern movement.

The fact that notions of honest, contemporary, creative construction grew up out of the rejection of the supposedly dishonest, outmoded and uncreative Historicism of the 19th century and that today these no-tions get in the way of any sophisti-cated evaluation of reproduction or reconstruction does not generally get reflected, even though the achieve-ments of Historicism have long since been placed on a par with the works of the Avant-garde and form an es-sential part of our cultural memory. With contemporary architecture claiming more and more to be based

Dresden’s Frauenkirche before the War, in ruins in 1945 and after being rebuilt from 1994 to 2005

The baroque St. Michael's-Church from 1750 inHamburg, burnt down in completely 1906.

Reconstructed up to 1912 .

A copy is no fraud, a facsimile no forgery, a replica no crimeand a reconstruction no lie

The Berl iner schloss PosT | 17

Reconstruction and modern age

Page 18: Berliner Schloss Post Ed 11

on artistic autonomy and creative individuality, an assessment made by Rudolf Schwarz way back in 1929 therefore becomes increasingly sig-nificant: it is conceivable, after all, he said, “that somebody might under-take architectural work using old forms of design. That, however, would have nothing to do with copy-ing and he could even be a prophet. Conversely, most architects today are copyists. It’s just that they are copying non-understood new forms or splut-tering out trendy jokes.”

The moralising attitude of many people involved today in the preser-vation of architectural heritage also goes back to developments in the 19th century. Faced in 1849 with the growing loss of historic buildings as a result of industrialisation and urban-isation and with attempts at a form of compensation through ‘stylistically pure’ restoration and ‘creative’ recon-struction, John Ruskin invoked the importance of historic structures with moral pleading and phraseol-ogy: “Do not let us talk then of restora-tion. The thing is a lie from beginning to end. You may make a model of a building as you may of a corpse, and the model may have the shell of the old walls within it as your cast might have the skeleton, with what advan-tage I neither see nor care: but the building is destroyed, and that more totally and mercilessly than if it had sunk into a heap of dust, or melted into a mass of clay.”

And if buildings really have to be demolished, he said, then “do it hon-estly and do not set up a lie in their place.” The moral discrediting and inquisitorial damnation – “falsifiers of old buildings belong on the slave boat” - of any form of reconstruction pursued by Ruskin and continued by Camillo Boito and Max Dvorák also led to the great ‘creative’ restoration and preservation achievements of Eugène-Emmanuel Viollet-le-Duc, George Gilbert-Scott and Ferdinand von Quast, which not only rescued countless historic structures but also shaped many generations’ concepts of history, not being adequately rec-ognised to this day and being valued less highly than ‘scientific’ preserva-tion. The fact that the modern (West-ern) heritage preservation move-ment, which was institutionalised to preserve historic buildings and mon-uments, sees itself as having an obli-gation solely towards the historic structures is wholly natural, as this is its task and purpose.

Its hard and fast rejection of recon-structions, which as new builds do not fall in any way into the move-ment’s domain, is, by contrast, merely a case of moralising against a differ-ent view.

Reconstruction, however, in many cases has nothing to do with ‘heritage preservation’, but is rather a memory culture process specific to a given epoch or culture accompanied by religious or memorial aspects and interests. If the primary aim is to pre-serve a memory of architecture, the

building per se does not necessarily have to be ‘original’.

In 1963, when the retention or de-molition of Penn Station in New York, designed by Beaux-Arts architects McKim, Mead and White, was the subject of heated debate, Bauhaus founder Walter Gropius, who since 1937 had moulded several genera-tions of young architects at Harvard, declared: “Why, for instance, do we dissipate our strength by fighting battles for the resurrection or preser-vation of structures which are monu-ments to a particularly insignificant period in American architectural his-tory, a period which, still unsure of its own mission, threw the Roman toga around its limbs to appease its nag-ging doubts. Pennsylvania Station in New York is such a case of pseudotra-dition.” Despite protests, one of the most important buildings of Histori-cism, in which the architecture of the Roman Baths of Caracalla had been reflected in a magnificent copy and transferred to a railway station com-plex, was – like Euston Station in

London two years earlier – torn down. This occurred not least because its detractors were able to defame the design’s return to history and the use of historic forms as uncreative and dishonest.

This example shows not only how tightly bound to their own era the judgements of even major personali-ties are, but also relates to the general problem of any view back into history being frequently concentrated only on ‘progress’ and geared to the devel-opment of things new. Given this perspective all efforts at preservation or with a focus on the past get literally lost from view. The entire history of architecture, as of the visual arts, is, however, a meshwork of innovation and preservation, of upheaval and survival, of avant-garde and revival. The history of architecture includes not only new dawns, but also conti-nuity, periods of conscious resistance to innovation, eras of preservation and retrospective tendencies. In ad-dition it is also a history of repairs, restorations and reconstructions,

since as a result of wars, natural disas-ters or simply weathering and use buildings have constantly been dam-aged, destroyed, repaired and re-stored. The notion that everything that was ever built anywhere was ‘new’ is absurd and it was only those with a view focussed on renewal that used to have little interest in preser-vation work. Most histories of archi-tecture merely follow how Gothic forms spread and when and how they were first used in which building in other countries.

They show when the Renaissance came over the Alps from Italy and how this manifested itself in Germany and they analyse from where it was that Baroque design of space and façades emanated. The fact that Gothic forms continued to survive into the 18th century, that there were repeated tendencies towards using archaic styles, that destroyed vaults, towers and sections of façade were recon-structed based on what still remained and that ‘repairs’ were routine seems for determining paths to the present

to be largely unimportant or esoteric.Comprehensive research studies

into the various forms of Gothic sur-vival architecture and into the history of restoration and preservation have, however, long since proved that as well as a history of change there was also one of continuity, of retention and indeed also of reconstruction. In his unpublished, and far too over-looked, three-volume Leipzig disser-tation on the prehistory of the preser-vation of historic buildings Wolfgang Götz propagated as far back as 1956 a simply overwhelming wealth of ma-terial on a history of continuity in ar-chitecture. His study of building in-scriptions and of bills, chronicles and lists of materials in the archives opened up a totally new view of build-ing activities, which were geared not just to completing buildings but also to their continual restoration. While the way in which Historicism dealt with history used to be discounted as nothing more than uncreative, its gradual reassessment led from the 1960s to a plethora of studies that brought together and analysed the preservative and retrospective ten-dencies practically everywhere in ar-chitecture and visual art.

Michael Hesse, Hermann Hipp, Peter Kurmann, Heinrich Magirius and many others repeatedly provided new evidence that architectural his-tory can be seen not just one-dimen-sionally as an advance towards the present day, but must at the same time be woven together from warp and weft, from a synopsis of breaks and continuities. This is naturally not a German phenomenon. In 1986, in a comprehensive study Jukka Jokilehto provided a ‘History of Architectural Conservation’ on a comparative basis for England, France, Germany and Italy. In all of the works it is apparent that any history of restoration “can-not be separated from the history of reincorporating past forms”.

From a perspective that embraces not just change but continuity as well, buildings that seem stylistically holis-tic to us today become recognisable as a testimony to many eras. This re-lates not just to the continued con-struction of Gothic religious build-ings up to the early Classicist period or the ‘completions’ in the 19th cen-tury, but also to ‘historicising’ height-ening of towers, replacement of but-tresses and façade elements, inser-tions and even very generally to resto-rations, which pervade the timeline down the centuries. In the case of the Temple of Zeus at Olympia, for ex-ample, it has been possible to deter-mine that it was repeatedly rebuilt after destruction in its old form and that in each instance this also in-volved the use of new constructional elements.

The gallery reconstructed follow-ing a fire in 1481 at the foot of the great roof of Reims Cathedral copied “13th century forms extremely skilfully”, the south wall of the southern tran-sept of the St. Servatius collegiate church in Quedlinburg was restored

The only access to the viewing platform atop the historic Campanile in Venice used to be via a narrow staircase.In 1906 the authorities therefore aimed to install a lift. However, numerous metal tie rods were in the way.

They were removed. The tower became unstable and collapsed. All that was left was a pile of rubble.What is marveled at today is an authentic copy!

18 | The Berl iner schloss PosT

Reconstruction and modern age

Page 19: Berliner Schloss Post Ed 11

in its old form in the middle of the Renaissance in 1571, following the Huguenot demolitions several build-ings were “reconstructed in a fashion that imitated the Romanesque style with scrupulous precision” in the early 17th century and the nave walls of the Romanesque imperial cathe-dral in Speyer are reconstructions from the period 1772 to 1778.

It is thus definitely not the case that “the great architectural eras of the past never copied the styles of their ancestors”, as Walter Gropius claimed, telling his students: “You will search in vain for copies of the past that are supposed, for example, to preserve an outer ‘cosmetic’ conformity.” On the contrary, there have repeatedly been debates throughout history on whether a destroyed building should be reconstructed in its old form or built again based on the latest state of architectural development.

When a fire destroyed the choir of Canterbury Cathedral in 1174, the monks and experts discussed whether to reconstruct it or build it anew in a Gothic design. Here the ‘Modernists’ won the day. After the Doge’s Palace in Venice was badly damaged by fire in 1577, the debate went back and forth on whether to restore it or modernise it in Renaissance form. The views of the experts, including Andrea Palla-dio, were split, but here the previous state was largely recreated. After Speyer Cathedral was badly damaged on several occasions the argument was likewise won by those who wanted to restore conformity with the remaining structure, while in the case of San Paolo fuori le Mura Pope Leo XII ended the argument about ‘Old’ or ‘New’ in 1825 by ordering a reconstruction.

When in 1937 during a discussion about modern architecture at Princ-eton University the Dean, Ely Jacques Kahn, suggested to his students rhe-torically that if the prestigious old university were to be destroyed no-body would surely want to rebuild it in any modern form, he was shocked to find that the vast majority argued

in favour of a new building. At that time Modernist architecture was on the up in the USA and today the re-sponse would probably be different. And in 1947 a committee of experts appointed by the Cathedral Council

recommended the complete recon-struction of Coventry’s destroyed ca-thedral. However, the design compe-tition was won in 1951 by Basil Spence, the only entrant to combine the ruins with a new structure. When

it is that buildings get reconstructed and when modernised depends in each instance on the state of the ar-chitectural debate and many other factors. This publication’s list of ex-amples, split into ten sections, gives an overview of the motives involved.

The often emotionally led or dog-matically intransigent discussions about reconstruction should be in-cluded in the public debate about ‘cultural memory’, as this is itself a form of awareness. Part of tackling the issue of cultural memory is a “du-plication of levels: of the awareness of objects and of the reflection of the terms of precisely this awareness.” This means that the propositions of each point of view and the historical horizon must be included, as the key is to “specify the precise place in the present to which my historic design is going to refer as their vanishing point.” After the Second World War, the feeling of guilt for all the destruc-tion and the dominance of the ‘Inter-national style’ hardly allowed any re-constructions in Germany. Thus it was only in 1959 on a visit to Warsaw that Rudolf Hillebrecht realised that Hanover, which had been rebuilt in a modern style under his direction, lacked an historical dimension and he himself then advocated a recon-

struction of the Leibnizhaus. The fact that the reconstructions in Eastern Europe since 1989 are a process of eliminating the Soviet era and a means of linking back to each coun-try’s respective national traditions is very evident. So too is the link be-tween the desire for reconstruction in Germany with the change of genera-tion and dissatisfaction with how the cities had been rebuilt. Furthermore the handling of the topic of recon-struction in the post-War period is generally characterised by concepts of breaking with tradition and of dis-tancing oneself from history by high-lighting discontinuities and frag-ments. Reconstruction is by contrast borne by the wish for continuity and conformity.

However, this engineered recollec-tion too is part of the contemporary creation of cultural identity. There-fore, even in the opinion of propo-nents of the Avant-garde such as Rem Koolhaas, “the gulf between preser-vation and modernity [ought] to be overcome”, as calling for restoration has long since been an integral part of the present. Reconstructions have just as much of a right to exist in present-day architecture as creative new constructions – a decision, how-ever, needs to be taken in each indi-vidual case, taking into account the majority public view, on whether the design creates continuity or a break with the past.

Architects like Carlo Scarpa, Luigi Snozzi, Giorgio Grassi and Álvaro Siza have shown in exemplary fashion that when it comes to building within an historic context originality mat-ters less than serving history and the people. When Siza was commis-sioned to rebuild the Chiado, the Old Town of Lisbon, he declared: “The question of the façades is not impor-tant to me”. However, as a result of the reconstruction he improved the stan-dard of living and the quality of life in the area. Done this way there would (perhaps) be less argument about reconstruction.

The Abbey of Monte Cassino in Italy after its reconstruction (above). The war-ravaged abbey in 1944 (below)

The Schwarzhäupter-House in Riga, completely demolished after World War II,reconstructed from 1996 bis 2002

The Berl iner schloss PosT | 19

Reconstruction and modern age

Page 20: Berliner Schloss Post Ed 11

The Romans used the term ‘fanum’ to describe a holy place that was

separated from the ‘profanum’ situ-ated in front of it. Separating out holy areas for gods, miracle workers and saints from the everyday world is a fundamental principle for generating sacred significance and is part and parcel of almost every religion and culture.

Reconstruction in holylocations – religious andarchitectural continuity

When and why a place is ascribed this importance can be based on a variety of different reasons. Places where ‘miracles’ or ‘apparitions’ oc-curred have, for instance, been ranked as being sacred, as have the places where saints or founders of religions were born, worked or died. Holy mountains, copses, springs and caves, the holy River Ganges, the burning bush of the Old Testament and whole towns such as Jerusalem and Mecca became places bearing sacred meaning.

Holy locations developed in many cases into places of pilgrimage and thus also into significant economic factors. For centuries, whenever sa-cred buildings in a holy location have been damaged or destroyed they have been restored or rebuilt in ex-actly the same spot. In many cases this continuity related to the design of the building as well. Destroyed Greek temples were rebuilt in their old forms, as were the domes and mina-rets of Muslim mosques or the vaults and towers of Christian churches. When the church of San Paolo fuori le Mura in Rome, built over the grave of the Apostle Paul, burnt down in 1823, Pope Leo XII immediately ordered that the building be reconstructed not only in the same place but also ‘in pristinum’, in its old style, as faith, he said, had become intertwined with its form over the centuries.

This approach also determined the countless reconstructions of religious buildings after the Second World War. While bitter debate often raged about how the cities were to be rebuilt, many destroyed churches were re-produced without discussion in – outwardly at least – their old form.

Reconstruction fornational political and

dynastic reasons

Buildings reach into the present day as a testimony to bygone times and are therefore particularly well suited to directing people’s memories back into history way beyond the lifetime of any individual. John Ruskin

even maintained that people could not remember at all without the help of architecture. As buildings firmly link the public’s historic conscious-ness with places of significance to the history of nation and state, they cre-ate a common past and thus a strong bond for the feeling of national to-getherness and identity.

Architecture can also be used to demonstrate national, political or dynastic claims to power. Monu-ments and historic buildings there-fore play a special role in political calculations and in the 19th century their preservation became a task for the state. ‘Les longs souvenirs font des grands peuples’ (Long memories cre-ate great peoples) was a saying of Charles de Montalembert, one of the fathers of French heritage preserva-tion. It accompanied the country’s efforts to preserve, restore and recon-struct historic buildings and monu-ments. Following the devastating de-struction in Poland, Jan Zachwatow-

icz declared in 1945: “The Germans, who wanted to annihilate us as a na-tion, also destroyed our architectural heritage.

The nation and our historic build-ings are, however, as one and it is therefore positively our duty to re-build them precisely as they were, as by doing so the nation and its heritage gets passed on to future genera-tions.”

The link between architectural heritage and national memory also determined the reconstruction of Co-lonial Williamsburg in the USA and ‘French’ Quebec, as it did too the many reconstructions of national historical sites following the two World Wars and the collapse of the communist system in Eastern Eu-rope. In order to satisfy claims of na-tional identity, the respective notions of national expression were often ‘given a helping hand’ both on resto-rations and reconstructions. Tradi-tions and national symbols and im-

agery are in many cases ‘inventions’ and this is reflected too in a nation’s historic structures.

Reconstructing the symbols and images of a city

The memory of individuals and of society is limited in duration to the human lifespan. Via symbolic media such as architecture and literature, however, a ‘cultural memory’ (Jan and Aleida Assmann) is created with a reach that is no longer limited to the memory of individuals, but matches instead the longevity of the fixed, physical symbols. Buildings are therefore able to convey concepts over long periods of time that give people and groups a cultural identity. A city’s architecture is an essential part of the cultural memory, on which its residents base their consciousness of unity and character.

The image and history of a city are often condensed into a few buildings that stand in to represent the whole. In the same way that the Colosseum, the Eiffel Tower and the Brandenburg Gate represent Rome, Paris and Ber-lin, most people associate their hometown with specific buildings, roads or squares. As important ele-ments of cultural memory, such civic symbols are so integral to the resi-dents’ identity and concept of who they are that in the event of these being lost there is generally a demand for their reconstruction. After the First World War, the most important buildings and squares of the de-stroyed cities in Belgium, northern France and East Prussia were there-fore rebuilt in their original appear-ance with practically no discussion at all. Following the huge scale of de-

struction in the Second World War this did not happen in many cities, even though the majority of the pub-lic wanted such squares and build-ings rebuilt. Even then Herbert von Einem was already warning: “What’s use is preservation to us if the natural cohesion that used to connect us with the testimony to former times can no longer be experienced.” Since the final third of the 20th century, with the emergence of a new generation the need has intensified in the midst of inhospitable urban spaces for the reconstruction of symbols of civic identity. The reconstructions in Hildesheim, Dresden, Frankfurt and Riga are an expression of the wish of a majority of the residents for public spaces to be designed as a means of preserving an area’s cultural mem-ory.

Reconstructing buildings to remember people and events

The most heated argument about reconstruction in Germany raged shortly after the Second World War over the question of rebuilding the fully destroyed house of Goethe’s birth in Frankfurt am Main. Modern architects and preservationists had almost made up their minds not to reconstruct it, but those in favour won the day and the reconstructed building was officially opened in 1951. Hundreds of thousands of peo-ple from all over the globe have since visited the house and the reconstruc-tion has taken on the function of a memorial. The fact that it is a repro-duction largely without any original elements is well known and any talk of it being a ‘fraud’ would be absurd.

The human memory is ‘topologi-cal’, i.e. structured by place. Architec-ture is therefore particularly able to help us recall the past. If a building is lost, its reproduction too is able to take on this task of preserving memo-ries of people or events. A new build-ing in a modern design and using ‘contemporary’ materials would, on the other hand, not have been able – even in the same location – to convey any real idea of the house in which Goethe was born and spent his for-mative years to the generations to come.

In order to remember people it has been customary since ancient times for the houses in which they were born, lived, worked and died to be preserved, restored and, where nec-essary, reconstructed. Millions make the pilgrimage to the house of Shake-speare’s birth in Stratford-upon-Avon, to Luther’s house in Eisleben, to Rubens’ house in Antwerp, to Abra-

For centuries reconstructions have provedtheir worth - for all sorts of reasons

Warsaw’s Royal Palace after reconstruction (top)and in 1945 after being blown up (below)

20 | The Berl iner schloss PosT

Reconstruction and modern age

Page 21: Berliner Schloss Post Ed 11

ham Lincoln’s log cabin in Illinois, to the house of Jeanne d’Arc in Orléans, to Robert Schumann’s house in Zwickau and to Henry Thoreau’s cabin on Walden Pond. For most visi-tors the fact that they are reconstruc-tions does not matter. Historic forms can take us back into history even if they are not original. Reconstruc-tions make it possible to get closer via architecture to people, their deeds and to historic events and they thus fulfil many general human needs and desires.

Archaeological econstructions

It is part of an archaeologist’s work to put structures that have fallen into ruin back together again. If required for the construction, any missing ele-ments get added in such a way that it is possible to distinguish the new parts from the historic. This ap-proach, known as anastilosis, needs to be differentiated from ‘archaeo-logical reconstructions’. These are not copies or reproductions – for ex-ample, based on drawings or pictures – of buildings that no longer exist, but ‘inventions’ by the archaeologists based on their current knowledge. Usually the superstructures have to be designed hypothetically from the remnants of the foundations through comparison, analogy or the transfer of other findings. Even more than other forms of restoration archaeo-logical reconstructions therefore re-flect both the current status of rele-vant research and general artistic, historic and scientific views of the period in which they are undertaken. Every form of reconstruction – in-cluding restoration – is a product of its time. It is a construct of history that can be dated again by future genera-tions. By looking at the history of the reconstruction of early structures like pile dwellings and Stone Age settle-

ments and also of Roman castles and fortifications, such as limes, the pro-jection of contemporary ideas into

archaeological reconstructions can be clearly traced. The way in which reproductions were identified as a

reconstruction can also be retrospec-tively dated.

While reconstructions in the 19th century, such as the Saalburg Roman fort, were still very much guided by educational interests, archaeological reproductions are increasingly devel-oping into leisure parks aimed at tourists, serving commercial inter-ests and visitors’ supposed wishes through dramatisations of every kind. One newer special form is ‘experi-mental archaeology’, where individu-als using historic tools and in appro-priate dress perform the reconstruc-tions in front of an audience. The production of ‘living history’ is fre-quently becoming a part of market-ing strategies in the media for history and leisure.

Reconstruction as anadaptation of antiquity –

from drawing to animation

As interest in classical antiquity grew ever greater through the course of the 15th century, the period’s archi-tectural remains also gained increas-ingly in importance. The topography and monuments of ancient Rome in particular were not only the subject of literary research by the Humanists, but the remains of buildings also served as a means of studying the ancient architecture, its structure, design and proportions. From the middle of the 15th century drawings were produced based on Roman ruins. These were not only often exca-vated and precisely measured, but also reconstructed in drawn form. The architects of the time thought that studying the historic buildings would help them to unscramble the rules of ancient architecture and thus open up the possibility not only of restoring the buildings but also of making practical use of this knowl-edge in a new form of ‘all’antica’ ar-chitecture. Alberti was already rec-

ommending in his architectural trea-tise of 1451 that historic buildings be drawn in plan and front view without any foreshortening through perspec-tive in order to be able to record the works better and thus to utilise them for new designs. In a letter to Pope Leo X in 1519, Raphael proposed making an inventory of as many of Rome’s historic buildings as possible with the aim of restoring those “of which suf-ficient is still retained that they can be restored without doubt in the way that they must have been.”

Over the course of subsequent centuries, there developed in deal-ings with the historical buildings of classical antiquity on the one hand an ever better knowledge of the struc-tures and on the other an increasingly ‘more realistic’ form of presenting reconstructions. Based on scientific research and investigation of a build-ing’s architectural history, painters and architects, whose training in-cluded reconstructing buildings in drawn form, produced clear plans, perspective views and paintings. His-torical paintings and panoramas al-ready seemed to provide a direct in-sight into classical antiquity and with the possibilities of film and most re-cently with computer simulation and animation the virtually reconstructed world of ancient times is becoming something that can be directly expe-rienced.

Reconstructing to restore the unity of an ensemble or to re-

gain a unique space

During the Renaissance, Leon Bat-tista Alberti defined beauty as a state to which no changes could be made and nothing added. The notion that all parts should merge to form a har-monious whole applied in many eras to architecture and urban construc-tion as well. Whenever a section of building within an ensemble de-

The Royal Palace of Lithuania (Lower Castle) in Vilnius, reconstructed in 2008

Frankfurt/Main 1947 and 2002, Römerberg

Frankfurt /Main before World War II, Römerberg

The Berl iner schloss PosT | 21

Reconstruction and modern age

Page 22: Berliner Schloss Post Ed 11

signed as an entity or historically mature was destroyed, such areas down the ages were frequently re-stored. The most famous example is the reconstruction of the Campanile on St. Mark’s Square in Venice, which collapsed in 1902, and without which the whole square and surrounding area would have totally lost its look. In opposition to this restoration of con-tinuity and conformity there were, however, repeated demands to place new buildings directly next to the old to form a contrast. As up until the end of the 19th century styles of architec-ture - even across relatively long peri-ods - were interrelated and building methods, dimensions and materials remained relatively constant, this, nevertheless, rarely created such fractures as caused by modern archi-tecture, which distanced itself from historic styles and sought a totally new form of expression with new materials and designs. In the post-1945 concept of ‘Neues Bauen in alter Umgebung’ (A new style of building in old surroundings) it is autonomy, originality and contrast that domi-nate, not unity and continuity. How-ever, even within the Modernist movement there is a lot of evidence in the works of the likes of Álvaro Siza, Luigi Snozzi, Carlo Scarpa and Gior-gio Grassi of architects integrating their designs into an ensemble and that to them restoring a historic situ-ation is more important than creating a dramatic break with history.

Where important interiors have been lost, especially in the case of theatre buildings, these were fre-quently reconstructed in order to re-gain proven spatial qualities or a much-loved atmosphere. Although most modern architects have a mind-set opposed to reconstructions, there was seldom any discussion about the many copies of works by the classic exponents of Modernism. The re-gaining of exemplary models of one’s own genre is often judged differently to the reproduction of historical buildings.

Reconstructing ‘authentic spirit’ and ritual replication

Western culture is defined by a lin-ear perception of time. Time marches

inexorably on and is irreversible. Therefore only ‘authentic’ historic buildings can remind us of bygone days. Original buildings reach back into history and for this reason are highly valued.

In cultures with a notion of cyclical time, of a continual recurrence of the same within the rhythm of daily and seasonal life and of cosmic or ruling cycles authentic buildings, by con-trast, mean little. Of greater impor-tance there are the location’s identity and the ability to preserve and pass on traditions within the cycle of events. While heritage preservation in the West is concerned with retain-ing original buildings as guarantors of memories of the past, the key factor for cultures with a cyclical view of time is passing on the ‘authentic spirit’ from one generation to the next. The physical structure can be lost, but ritual repetition is designed to guarantee eternal continuity. Lo-cation and ritual thus become the constant within the cycles of time.

Ritually demolishing and con-structing a building anew or replicat-ing it is a familiar practice in many cultures with a cyclical concept of time. Through these repetitions man, who continues the tradition and passes it on, becomes the living part of higher orders. How closely the new building is based on its predecessor

varies from culture to culture. In Japan, for example, the Isa Grand Shrine has for over 1,300 years been rebuilt with enormous effort every two decades based precisely on the example of the existing structure, which is then cleared away. The cus-tomary term for this process is ‘fuku-gen’, repetition of the original form. It is not the building that is alive, but the preservation and passing on of the authentic spirit. In many cultures of the Middle and Far East there are countless reconstructed and repli-cated buildings. Within this cultural context to ask about there age or ‘originality’ is relatively meaningless.

Reconstruction for the leisure and consumer world

A form of tourism based around historic buildings existed as far back as the 18th century, albeit then un-dertaken in the main by aristocrats visiting the sights on their ‘grand tour’. As the educated classes began travelling in the 19th century, in-creasing numbers of people visited historic sites in order to see and expe-rience great buildings of the past for themselves. This was accompanied by a systematic pepping up of the buildings in order to convey memo-rable, visual images to the visitors. The mass tourism of the 20th and 21st

centuries has seen the development not only of major, global tourist in-dustries, but also of wholly new ways of marketing history.

In many cases tourism brought great attention and thus financial as-sistance to historic sites. However, it also brought an increasing burden on the original structures and pressure to impart history to a lay public in an easily understandable way. As history is now often becoming staged, in-creasing numbers of new attractions, such as theme parks, trips through time, experimental archaeology or spectacular historic shows, are being invented. Within this context recon-structions are also being created that are frequently part of the ‘heritage crusade’ (David Lowenthal), i.e. of commercialisation strategies aimed at the tourist market. Some of these reconstructions have, however, since been added to the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites.

In the maelstrom of purely com-mercial interests or tourism-based marketing reconstructions are re-duced in many cases to superficial façades and become no more than tokenism. They then serve merely as a sales promotion element or are in-tended to distract attention from the fact that original historic buildings repeatedly get sacrificed to financial interests.

Reconstruction andthe ‘honesty’ of Modernism

In parallel with the ever better un-derstanding of the historical devel-opment of building styles and as a form of compensation for the serious loss of architectural heritage due to industrialisation, historic buildings were in many cases reconstructed in the 19th century largely based on the notion that it was possible to ‘cre-atively’ capture how buildings used to be and then recreate them. John Ruskin, and subsequently the repre-sentatives of an emerging, scientifi-cally oriented form of heritage pres-ervation, described this style of ‘res-toration’ as a ‘lie’ or a ‘falsification’ compared to the established origi-nal.

As Modernist architecture devel-oped in the late 1900s, all of the his-toricising architecture of the outgo-ing century was disparagingly viewed as eclectic and thus uncreative and the recourse to historic forms dis-credited as a disguise, a falsehood and an inability to design anything based on the present. The notion that architecture has to map and express function and design directly and that the architect must design in a ‘con-temporary’ style and may not orient himself on history led to Modernism’s ideology of ‘honesty’: if any interven-tion is to be made into a historic structure, this has to be identifiable as a contemporary modification. The implementation of such ‘honesty’ led to some brilliant designs, in which the layers of history are artistically dis-played. However, it also led to totally bizarre demonstrations of a distanc-ing from any historic form. This ideol-ogy also found its way into the ‘Venice Charter’ issued in 1964, in which the Western heritage preservation sector aligned itself with modern architects’ concept of honesty.

The notions of ‘truth’ and ‘honesty’ that were formulated by Modernism as a response to the ‘lies’ of Histori-cism are based on a supposed knowl-edge of what is ‘contemporary’ and ‘in keeping with the time’. However, the spectrum of contemporary archi-tecture also includes reproductions, for reconstruction too is a part of present-day building activity.

Warsaw’s Old Town after being blown up by the SS (left) and rebuilt immediately after the Second World War (right)

St. Michael’s Monastery, Kiev - Reconstructed

from 1989

22 | The Berl iner schloss PosT

Reconstruction and modern age

Page 23: Berliner Schloss Post Ed 11

South Korea is currently going through an incredible eco-

nomic boom. While after de-cades of Japanese occupation and the Korean War, the even now still divided country was one of the poorest and most back-ward on earth until well into the 1960s, South Korea has since be-come one of the most prosperous in just 40 years. It ranks 15th in the world and, as if it was the most natural thing ever, is host-ing the G20 summit this autumn. After hundreds of years as a mon-archy, the country has been a stable democracy since the mid-dle of the last century.

Two things have probably played a key part in this success:

the creativity, hard work and discipline of its people and their deeply rooted attachment to the country’s traditions. It is second nature there to deal with the country’s long history in a posi-tive way.

Korea was a kingdom of the Joseon Dynasty for five centuries up until 1910, when the Japanese occupation signalled its end.

The royal palace is the largest palace complex in Seoul and is able to convey an inkling of the early days of the Korean dynas-ties. However, in its current form the palace can only give a vague impression of how it looked in earlier times. During the Japa-nese occupation nearly all of the 330 buildings were destroyed or moved. However, the Gyeongho-eru Pavilion, supported by 48 pillars, and the imposing Gen-jeongjeon building undoubtedly convey an idea of the magnifi-cent state in which the palace once existed.

You must not think of this old royal palace as being like any palace in Europe. It was made up of various large and small tem-ple-like pavilions that accom-modated the king, his family and the entire royal household, simi-lar to the complexes in the ‘For-bidden City’ in Peking.

It was just 20 years ago, in 1990, that the Korean government re-solved to restore the complex to its original condition. Two years earlier, in 1988, the main He-unghwamun gate, which the Japanese had moved to another location in Seoul in order to build the governor’s palace, had been moved back into place. The gov-

ernor’s palace was demolished in the 1990s and, but for a few still missing buildings, the royal pal-ace was reconstructed in minute detail.

As we were able to see for our-selves on a visit to Seoul in Sep-tember 2010, the country’s heri-

tage preservation community is also wholeheartedly behind the project. In many discussions with art historians and heritage preservation specialists, which I was able to have thanks to intro-ductions and great preparatory work from the German Embassy,

it became apparent that the re-construction of the royal palace is seen as a great national project and is being unreservedly backed by the public. The sentiment there is definitely comparable to the sentiment in Poland during the reconstruction of Warsaw.

The people there simply can-not understand the endless de-bates in Germany over whether we do or do not have the right to reconstruct such buildings. They see such arguments as purely ideological. Lucky Korea!

Wilhelm von Boddien

Learning from the Koreans:

South Korea rebuildsChanggyeong Palace in Seoul

The royal palace’s Honghwamun main gate c. 1900

The Honghwamun main gate after reconstruction in 2010

The Honghwamun main gate: detail beneath the roof

Visit to Seoul: Wilhelm von Boddien (left), Park Yung-Keun,Director of the Royal Palace, Dr. Hans-Ulrich Seidt, German

Ambassador, Kim Won-Ki, General Director of the Cultural Heritage Administration of Korea

Governor’s palace with attempt at rebuilding the gatein concrete c. 1990

Demolition of the governor’s palace in 1995

Preparations for the new, authentic reconstruction of the main gate

Virtual view of the royal palace’s central complex

Reconstruction and modern ageThe Berl iner schloss PosT | 23

Page 24: Berliner Schloss Post Ed 11

The extra cost of the Palace compa-red to a building of the same size

built in a contemporary architectural style amounts to about 80 million Euros. This estimate for the creation of the historic baroque facades, inclu-ding the Schlüter Courtyard, which require a great deal of hand work, is based on an offer which has been confirmed by an additional calcula-tion done by a working group esta-blished by the State Conservator for Bavaria working together with a plan-ning bureau.

Why are the Palacefacades expensive?

The extra costs arise because hand work requires more time and is there-fore more expensive than manufac-turing modern façade elements. The beauty of the Palace facades arose from their liveliness … they had the effect of a gigantic sculpture. The carrying out of the plans by Schlüter and Eosander in an artistic and hand made manner, turned every detail into an individual sculpture in the artistic vocabulary of the respective artists. Between 1699 and 1716 hundreds of stone masons and sculp-tors worked to realize those plans. Famous sculptors like Permoser, the master of the Dresden Zwinger Palace made the sculptures. The allegorical figures representing the four seasons in the form of herm-like pilasters supporting the balconies above Por-tals IV and V are ascribed to him. You can marvel at the strength of expres-sion in the figures of Autumn and Winter which were saved and now decorate the Palace Portal which is part of the State Council Building. Spring and Summer were damaged after the Palace demolition but were rescued.

Much hasbeen saved

They can be restored and are wai-ting to be built into the new Palace.

About 70% of the figurative sculp-tures of the Palace exterior still exist. However, the stones of the cornices, windows, columns and capitals were

mostly lost and could only be found in fragments in the depots of the mu-seums and the Bureau for Monu-ments. Copying them is relatively simple. Actually, the original Palace blue prints have been missing since the time of Schlüter and Eosander which ended in 1713. Nonetheless, the Palace as a whole is excellently

documented with thousands of detail and general views and hundreds of plans from the restoration phase.

The recovered original remains of the Palace provide additional infor-mation concerning the way in which the artists and craftsmen carved the sandstone. Two deposits of rubble are to be archeologically excavated for

Palace remains since here, in these locations, further valuable fragments can certainly be found.

The bunker mound of Friedrichs-hain received its layer of rubble in the late autumn of 1950 out of the demo-lition debris from the Palace Square façade, just before the addition of a 15 cm thick layer of topsoil. Thus here

Palace remains lie just below the sur-face.

InvestigativeExcavations seeking

Palace Fragments

Until the 1960s, dismantled frag-ments of the Palace, which had been rescued under Prof. Strauss before the demolition, were stored on the fac-tory grounds of the former VEB Engi-neering firm in Berlin-Heinersdorf.

At that time the German Democra-tic Republic had sought in this way to silence the protests against the tea-ring down of the Palace.

Walter Ulbricht promised to re-build the Palace somewhere else when the economic situation should improve. For this reason, many parts of the building were rescued and stored in Heinersdorf. However, after the construction of the State Council Building incorporating Portal IV, the Palace faded away from memory. The stored remains, together with other rubble, were used as landfill in a swampy area immediately adjacent to its former resting place in order to create a new industrial park.

And thus, a capital from one of the inset columns of a round-headed window in the “Parade” story of the Palace, such as, for example, were to be found in the main portico of the Schlüterhof, was dug up again in 1992 during the expansion of the founda-tion for a large cement mixing factory. Naturally, one could reproduce recur-ring façade details in poured ce-ment.

Then each part would be comple-tely identical with each of the others, and thus the façade would have a monotonous effect.

Restoration to 18thcentury appearance

It is exactly the little inaccuracies and differences in the work of the va-rious artists and craftsmen which created the living quality that gave beauty to the Palace.

Therefore, the Palace exterior must be reproduced with the same me-thods and skills used 300 years ago.

The Palace façadeswill be financed

exclusively through donations

Façade detail from Portal IV,today in the State council Building

24 | The Berl iner schloss PosT

The reconstruction of the Schloss façades

Page 25: Berliner Schloss Post Ed 11

Great Palace Yard, Portal II. The two geniusses were saved afterdemolition and are now in the Zeughaus of Berlin.

Head of ram, found in 2010 Crown, found in 2010

Genius (Fama), Portal III, Great Palace Yard

After the demolition of the Berliner Schloss most sculp-tures of the Palace were completly destroyed by bla-

sting the building in 1950. Some of them remained, but got lost. Others were hidden by citizens of Berlin.

After the reunification of Germany we advertised "Lost to be found". Luckely every year citizens in and around Berlin call us and give us good news to save those frag-ments for the reconstruction of the Palace.

Lost and found

1950 (above) 1990 found on a meddow, lost again 1991

2005 found again in a garden, transportedto our depot (above).

Waiting for return to the original place in Portal III

The Berl iner schloss PosT | 25

The reconstruction of the Schloss façades

Page 26: Berliner Schloss Post Ed 11

Contrary to the opinion of many palace critics an entire industry is looking forward eagerly to itsreconstruction. Great masters of their trade are dreaming of finally being able to start work.

■ If parts or the whole of a building need to be recon-structed, a multitude of ma-terials are required in orderto produce an authentic,professional result in termsof heritage preservation. First and foremost, all of the building files, if possibleincluding detailed drawings, comprehensive, informative photographic material and fragments of the lost building should be available so that the reconstructed, new build-ing matches the original structure precisely in design, dimensions, materials and colour. Sadly, apart from a few drawings for repairs, the comprehensive stock of Ber-lin Palace building files has been lost as a result of the War. In order to be able to recreate the missing plansrequired for the reconstruc-tion it was therefore neces-sary to take a different route. A hand-drawn layout (a land registry plan) from 1879, which shows the palace inits outer dimensions with centimetre-precision, was found in the Berlin-Mitte Land Survey Office. Also un-earthed were numerousphotogrammetric photo-graphs (40 x 40cm glass plates) in the Brandenburg State Monuments and His-toric Buildings Office in Wünsdorf and lots of photo-graphs of the palace ruins taken in 1950. As it was more practical and accurate, inches were used as the unit of mea-surement, this being the unit used at the time the palace was initially built. We were delighted to receive an offer from the Stonema-sons and Stone Sculptors’ Guild to have cut stones for the palace produced as part of their journeyman exams. Our Association only has to cover the cost of materials and transportation. The first journeyman’s piece, a win-dow reveal for Schlüter’s parade floor level, was re-cently delivered to us and is on show in the information centre on Hausvogteiplatz.

We would like to thank the Guild sincerely for this gracious offer.

There are plenty of excellent sculptors!

Photo of the capital of portals I and II taken in 1950 (left) and finished 1:1 model to act as a template for creating it in sandstone (right)

Huge capital of portals I and II. Finished prototype hewn from sandstone

Saxony Sandstone Works near Dresden. Based on the plaster model, the protoype of the colossal capitals of portals I and II is now being carved in sandstone

Schlüter’s most important work of art on the outer palacefaçades, the great cartouche in portal I, is finished

Allegory of Prussia in the Schlüter Courtyard: Borussia in creation: from l. to r.: 1:1 clay model, silicone and plaster mould, plaster cast.Models designed by sculptor Matthias Körner

26 | The Berl iner schloss PosT

The reconstruction of the Schloss facades

Page 27: Berliner Schloss Post Ed 11

Entablature over portal I - Photo from 1900 and 2007 prototype

Balusters of the great balustrade

Eagle, Schlüter window bay

Schlüter window bay: Lion’s head and ram’s head

Top decoration for portal I cartouche. Made in sandstone. Sculptor: Eckart Böhm Plaster cast of a decorative element

Eagle modellinos - Schlüter façade, mezzanine.Sculptor: Werner Schmelter

Schlüter façade, window hood mould, first floor

Cornice ancone

Eosander Portal in the west façade. Centre arch decorative sculpture. 1:1 reproduction as template for the creation in sandstone

The two models of the Schlüter Courtyard capitals enable all of the courtyard’s huge capitals now to be carved in sandstone. Sculptor: Berhard Lankers

Corinthian capital of the enormous Schlüter Courtyard columns; top right the pilaster capital

The Berl iner schloss PosT | 27

The reconstruction of the Schloss façades

From the top:classical order of portals I - VI:

Corinthian capital, Ionic capital and Doric/Tuscan capital

Page 28: Berliner Schloss Post Ed 11

The heraldic reliefs above the windowsof Eosander’s projected façade

Eosander’s projected western end of the Lustgarten façade looked plainer than the Schlüter façades. Its only decorative sculptures were the reliefs

under the window hoods. All of them were lost when the palace was blown up. Sculptors Eckhart Böhm, Matthias Körner and Werner Schmelter have

masterfully reproduced them so that they can now be sculpted in sandstone

Also available to the sandstone sculptors is a model of the style of window hood mould used on the first floor

28 | The Berl iner schloss PosT

The reconstruction of the Schloss façades

Page 29: Berliner Schloss Post Ed 11

The reconstruction of the Schloss façadesTHE BErl inEr scHloss PosT | sE iTE 29

Novel method being used for reconstruction of portal IV

As the only large re-used piece of the old palace portal IV has been preserved. It became a socialist relic and was integrated into the State Council building as the ‘Li-ebknecht Portal’ in 1963. However it was not integrated in its entirety and only the decorative sculptural work is the original. The sandstone walls were copied from the origi-nal stones, as they had been pep-pered with artillery rounds and machine-gun fire during the final battles of April 1945.

Using a novel procedure involv-ing a 3D scanner, the sculptural decorations have been scanned and saved on computer. Using a plastic die casting process, this data is now to be turned via a robot into 1:1 model templates in 3D form, which will then be copied in sandstone by the sculptors for building into the palace. Before that is done the die cast forms will be retouched by the sculptors and partially remodelled, as the Lieb-

knecht Portal’s sculptures also originally had bullet holes in them. Back at the time these were either patched up, if they were relatively big, or in the case of smaller ones sanded down. The portal’s sculptures are thus no longer in their pre-War condition,

for which there is excellent photo-graphic evidence.

Ideology also played a part: the Prussian eagle was removed from the large eagle cartouche in the portal’s Palladian arch and the ar-bitrary dates of 1713 – 1963 added in its place. 1963 was when the

State Council building was offi-cially opened. So were the dates, perhaps, supposed to stand for ‘250 years of the GDR’?

Thanks to the historic photo-graphs such changes can be seen and by modifying the models can be undone. The copy of the copy is

thus once again the same as the actual portal IV.

NB: Berlin will in future have two examples of portal IV: one in the listed State Council building and one back in its old position within the Lustgarten façade of the pal-ace.

Computer-aided 3D scan

Portal IV (Liebknecht Portal) in the State Council building

Historic picture of the cartouche showing the eagle and crown removed in 1963

Palladian arch in portal IV, consisting of arch, Fama and eagle cartouche

Pheme, the herald of fame and renown, on the left within the arch In detail

Page 30: Berliner Schloss Post Ed 11

The reconstruction of the Schloss façadesSe ite 30 | the Berl iner SchloSS PoSt

Pheme, on the right in the arch

Herm pilaster below the parade floor balcony: allegory to autumn byBalthasar Permoser

Herm pilaster below the parade floor bal-cony: allegory to winter byBalthasar Permoser

Detail view of the autumn pilaster

Pilaster capital top left

Corinthian capital within the portal

Page 31: Berliner Schloss Post Ed 11

The Humboldt Forum– Palatial gateway to the world

by Prof. Dr. Hermann Parzinger,President of Stiftung Preußischer Kulturbesitz (Prussian Culture Heritage Foundation)

With the Humboldt Forum acting as a site of world culture, Berlin

will within a few years possess a cul-tural centre of national and interna-tional aura. We can see around the globe how cultural projects – realised with great flair and considerable fi-nancial effort – give a boost to major cities’ world renown and even have

the effect of defining national self-perception and identity. It is, indeed, often museums that play a particular role in this. The strategy here often lies in a strongly symbolic combination of cultural heritage and forward-looking concepts. Such projects find their ef-fective expression in grand architec-tural gestures.

Paris began this process way back in the 1980s with the glass pyramids in the courtyard of the Louvre acting both as a new source of light and en-larged entrance, while the Musée du Quai Branly, opened in 2006 as an outstanding centre of non-European art and culture, formed the final such development to date in the French

capital. In Madrid, the Prado’s new entrance and extension gave it a new significance, while by roofing over its inner courtyard and utilising the space in a very modern way the British Museum in London created a totally different museum feel. Here too non-European exhibits are now con-sciously juxtaposed with early Euro-

pean and the Middle Eastern art.Also in countries that have experi-

enced perpetual political upheaval and the dawning of new eras, major cultural projects are playing a key role in defining how they see themselves. In St. Petersburg, for example, the Hermitage’s master plan for 2014 provides for modern museum strate-

n Now that there is nothing more to stand in the way of the Humboldt Forum being built within the framework of Berlin Palace, an increasing number of dissenting voices have been heard recently in various media outlets questioning the proposed use of the Forum, which, like its creation, was also passed by resolution of the German government. The plans lack a ‘big idea’, they say. This view can only be based on ignorance, though it has to be admitted that the proposals could also evidently have been communicated better.

Between now and its opening in 2018, the Humboldt Forum will be going through a process of ongo-ing intellectual development and design around what is already a visible core. The tasks associated with the construction of the Humboldt Forum in terms of the material to be conveyed and the concepts

to be developed are very complex. However, it is already possible to formulate its central message, which represents the core guiding principles.

Professor Hermann Parzinger, the President of the Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation, is cur-rently leading work on producing a brochure that will comprehensively describe the Humboldt Forum in respect of its diverse roles, opportunities, educational offerings and exhibitions. This will be pub-lished in a large print-run in the autumn and then distributed to key opinion-formers at all levels of society, to interested members of the general public and, of course, to the media.

Here in advance of this are a few thoughts from the contents of the brochure that appear to us to be of key significance:

Crowds gather for a summer concert in Berlin’s Lustgarten

Eremitage St. Petersburg Grand Louvre Paris

Culture shapes major cities

The Berl iner schloss PosT | 31

The Humboldtforum

Page 32: Berliner Schloss Post Ed 11

Se ite 32 | the Berl iner SchloSS PoSt

The Humboldtforum

gies and methods of presentation. The Pushkin Museum in Moscow is also getting itself fit for the 21st century with the creation of an outstanding cultural complex featuring an additional gallery, library and concert hall, which will be on a par with any of the great museums of the world.

In Peking the National Museum is undergoing an im-pressive extension that will make it the world’s largest museum building, while hundreds of other museums are being built all across the country. In the Gulf a pros-perous society is trying with the help of futuristic mu-seum architecture and imported museum know-how to create a cultural basis combined with a desire for a mod-ern world view.

All of these examples show just one thing: global cities blossom and develop an absolutely magical magnetic draw when at their very heart they live and breathe cul-ture. Nothing defines a country’s image in the world more powerfully than its cultural centres.

Museum Island with Berlin Palace: a centre of world cultures, art and science in the heart of the city

National Museum Beijing Musée du quai Branly Paris

The welcome reunification of the city after decades of

division creates a great oppor-tunity to reshape the historic heart of Berlin in a style that picks up on Prussia’s cultural achievements in the 19th cen-tury. It was here over many centuries that the outstanding cultural and artistic treasures of Western tradition were col-lected together and from here that academic curiosity honed in on the alien and different in the world. The challenge now is to refine this urbane core into an intellectual centre that will have a defining impact on Ber-lin.

Following German reunifi-cation, the immense complex of collections of art and culture from Europe and the Middle East on Berlin’s Museum Island received a veritable boost in public perception through the coming together of the divided museum inventories and the renovation and further exten-sion of the buildings as part of the Museum Island master plan. And it is a perception that gets ever more firmly rooted with each passing year. The Humboldt Forum in the now to be partially reconstructed Ber-lin Palace on the other side of the Pleasure Gardens (Lustgar-

ten) will create an outstanding centre for the art and culture of Asia, Africa, America, Australia and Oceania. With this compo-sition of buildings Berlin will become one of the leading cultural and museum cities anywhere in the world. This is possible because only Berlin combines this wealth of collec-tions from around the globe within one museum institu-tion: the State Museums of the Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation.

And only in Berlin, with the Museum Island and Humboldt Forum, can such an impressive and meaningful centre of world

cultures be created, because here – as a result of the conflict-ing ideologies of a fateful his-tory – the space required still exists right in the heart of a major global city. What is even more important, however, is that in doing so we are showing our country’s intellectual will-ingness to shape the geograph-ical centrepiece of our capital not in a self-focussed way but in a style that stands for healthy curiosity and openness to-wards other cultures. Equally this place will also be able to contribute towards the process of self-affirmation in a globally interconnected world.

Berlin’s opportunities are unique




: Pet

er So



n, B


, För



n Be


r Sch


, eld




Page 33: Berliner Schloss Post Ed 11

World Heritage Site cements Berlin’sreputation as a capital of culture

The Humboldt Forum creates a place of reflectionin a globally integrated world

Museum Island was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO

in the year 2000. Its museums house examples of European and Middle Eastern culture and art from ancient times through to the 19th century. Following refurbishment, the high temple of art, the Old National Gallery (Alte Nationalgalerie) was reopened in its former glory in 2001. Five years later, the neo-Renaissance Bode Mu-seum was reborn in wonderful style. This ensemble was then added to in 2009, when after decades as a ruin the New Museum (Neue Museum) rose like a phoenix from the ashes. Fasci-nating people ever since, the New Museum tells three stories at once: the history of the building, the history of museum presentation and the his-tory of the exhibits on display there. If you compare the buildings with each other, then you appreciate that no two are alike. Each has its own history. It is precisely this diversity that fasci-nates visitors from all over the world.

Currently taking shape, the new entrance building, the James Simon Gallery, epitomises the Museum Is-land’s ongoing development in the 21st century. It will accommodate space for special exhibitions and other functions that is lacking in the other buildings, yet is urgently needed. The entrance building will lead from the south into the Perga-

mon Museum, which as part of its refurbishment is to get a fourth wing along the ‘Kupfergraben’ cut and will thus offer a globally unique continu-ous walkway through the architec-tural history of antiquity from An-cient Egypt, the Ancient Near East and the Greco-Roman world all the way to Egypt’s early Islamic era. The Museum Island master plan ulti-mately concludes with completion of what is known as the Archaeological Promenade: this will link the muse-um’s courtyards, sunk one level deeper as part of the renovation, via a series of underground galleries. This will thus create an extended, interdis-ciplinary exhibition space that will tackle issues spanning geography and time with changing exhibits and content.

The Humboldt Forum within Ber-lin Palace brings with it a unique

opportunity not only to shape this capital city site of great historic im-portance, city planning significance and international allure in a public, high quality fashion, but also to give it a fascinating purpose: the cultures of the world will in a sense become stakeholders in the most distin-guished location in Germany. Berlin and the whole country are thus able to take on a challenge of interna-tional significance in an extremely effective way. There is probably no other city that possesses such genu-ine credentials for doing this – cre-dentials linked to name Humboldt.

The Humboldt Forum in Berlin Palace will become a new kind of centre for experiencing art and cul-ture. Its name is a reference to the legacy of brothers Wilhelm and Alex-ander von Humboldt, who at the start of the 19th century did ground-breaking work in researching foreign cultures and thus for global under-standing. In becoming this new cen-tre, the Humboldt Forum will not only add Berlin’s unique non-Euro-pean collections to the artistic and cultural treasures already brought together on Museum Island, but will also innovatively combine the insti-tutions of museum, library and uni-versity, thus creating links between

the historic collections and the burning questions of today.

The Humboldt Forum will provide an experience of non-European art and culture, thus imparting knowl-edge about the world, and will facili-tate intercultural encounters, thus arousing curiosity and generating a fascination for other worlds. Finding sustainable ways of dealing with the alien and the different is a matter of survival for the cultures of the world, which in an era of globalisation are coming face-to-face with each other with unprecedented plurality, speed and complexity. Understanding cul-tural diversity and being prepared to enter into a dialogue are important prerequisites for shaping our fu-ture.

The Humboldt Forum is essential because Germany in particular needs a place for exchanging views, objectives and experiences with cul-tures and societies of different kinds. The centre of the German capital offers in the shape of the Humboldt Forum a place the like of which does not yet exist anywhere else in the world. The Humboldt Forum is therefore not just something for Berlin and Germany, but can also become a treasure for the entire world – the Humboldt Forum can become a world centre of globalisa-tion!

Fragment of a sermon scene

Asian Art Museum,Berlin State Museums,

Prussian CulturalHeritage Foundation

Persian court lady

Asian Art Museum,Berlin State Museums,

Prussian CulturalHeritage Foundation

God Shiva and family

Asian Art Museum,Berlin State Museums,

Prussian CulturalHeritage Foundation

The Berl iner schloss PosT | 33

The Humboldtforum

Page 34: Berliner Schloss Post Ed 11

Past contained withinthe future

The concept embodies the cosmopolitanHumboldt world view

The notion of the Humboldt Forum is closely tied to the history of the location

The transformation of what was once the Hohenzollern palace

into a place of world art and culture and its dialogue with the sciences has a certain inner logic: it could almost be called a belated transformation of Prussia and the revitalisation of its museums and scientific and educa-

tional institutions for the benefit of the future of reunified Germany. It is in effect Prussia’s great achievement that will form the core of the Hum-boldt Forum: its wealth of non-Euro-pean art and culture encyclopaedi-cally compiled against the back-ground of its educational ideals.

The joint forum of museums, li-brary and university bears the

name Humboldt because the broth-ers Wilhelm and Alexander von Hum-boldt are not only closely associated with this location, but are also seen as guiding figures in the Humboldt Fo-rum’s concept: Wilhelm stands for the importance of the classical history of European ideas and thought, for the understanding of non-European cul-tures, the significance of language in comprehending art and culture, the bringing together of museum, uni-versity and library and for a far-

reaching educational policy offen-sive.

Alexander symbolises curiosity for the world, an open-minded descrip-tion of foreign cultures, cross-disci-plinary exploration and research of America and Asia and the concept of an inseparable unity of nature and culture. Indeed, Berlin Palace is one of the places where Alexander von Humboldt was able to present and debate these ideas, as King Friedrich Wilhelm IV regularly invited him, along with academics Leopold von Ranke, Friedrich Wilhelm Schelling,

Barthold Georg Niebuhr and archi-tect Karl Friedrich Schinkel, to gath-erings in the palace’s tea salon.

Both Wilhelm and Alexander were shaped by a cosmopolitan world view that was based on the equality of world cultures. They stand for en-lightenment and an inquisitive inter-est in that which is different and alien in the world.

What two hundred years ago was just a model, supported by a few indi-viduals, is what we can bring to con-crete fruition in the heart of Berlin today.The concept of the Humboldt

Forum has developed from the location’s history and gains particular legitimacy from this: museums, li-brary and university collections had

their common nucleus in the palace’s Brandenburg-Prussian chambers of art and curiosities.

They are now returning to the place of their origin.

Representation of BuddhaAsian Art Museum

Representations of Buddha, Asian Art Museum, Berlin State Museums, Gandhara, 1st century AD © Berlin State Museums. Photographer: Jürgen Liepe

King Friedrich Wilhelm IV’s tea salon in Berlin PalaceDesign: Karl Friedrich Schinkel

Se ite 34 | the Berl iner SchloSS PoSt

The Humboldtforum

Page 35: Berliner Schloss Post Ed 11

Museums, library and university jointly shapethe Humboldt Forum

The non-European collections must returnto the heart of Berlin

Three institutions will design the Humboldt Forum: the Prussian Cultural Heritage Foun-

dation, Berlin Humboldt University and Berlin Central and State Library. The largest area will be taken by the Prussian Cultural Heritage Founda-tion.

This will be used for its Berlin State Museums’ non-European collections, which are currently still split between the Ethnological Museum and the Museum of Asiatic Art in the outlying Dahlem suburb. These collections cover well over 500,000 artefacts and works of art from every continent, supplemented by unique audio and video mate-rial. Together they form one of the richest portfo-lios of non-European art and culture anywhere in the world. Berlin Central and State Library offers a comprehensive range of services. It uses diverse forms of media for its attractive core areas of dance, drama, film, art and music and provides a

modern teaching library for children and young adults. Based on its copious university collections, the third partner, Berlin Humboldt University, is planning a ‘Humboldt Lab’ with regularly chan-ging exhibitions and events.

The Humboldt Forum is drawing on the idea of the Centre Pompidou with its combination of public library, exhibition areas and events centre and developing this further for the needs and re-quirements of a globalised world in the 21st cen-tury. As part of an integrated concept of how the Forum will be used, museums, library and univer-sity will pool their strengths and differing areas of expertise, creating a living space, generating and imparting knowledge on the cultures of the world.

Continuing in the spirit of the von Humboldt brothers, the Humboldt Forum will bring the en-tire world into view.

The Prussian Cultural Heritage Founda-

tion’s non-European collections, split be-tween its Ethnological Museum and the Mu-seum of Asiatic Art, have been housed since the Second World War in Dahlem on the south-western periphery of Berlin. Other important collections, such as the paintings of the ‘Gemäl-degalerie’, the graphic art of the ‘Kupferstichk-abinett’, the sculpture collection and the Mu-seum of Islamic Art moved out of Dahlem into new premises or to their old locations in the centre of Berlin. Left in Dahlem was a – poorly visited – body of non-European art and cul-ture, which was now robbed of any juxtapo-sition with the art and culture of Europe and the Middle East. This unity needs to be re-stored!

By moving out of Dahlem into the centre of Berlin and regaining

their proximity to Mu-seum Island, the non-European collections will be coming back into an ensemble where they will finally lose the disparaging stigma of just being exotic. That too is part of any equi-table presentation and perception of world cultures. Indeed, the Louvre now also dis-plays its gallery of mas-terpieces of non-Euro-pean art and everyone there is proud of having overcome world art hi-erarchies. The British Museum in London now also puts great store in the juxtaposi-tion of the European and non-European. The great universal mu-seums are thus taking into account their visi-tors’ demands. It is abundantly clear: to-day’s museum-goers and people with an in-terest in culture have long since been think-ing in global dimen-sions.

Imperial throneAsian Art Museum,Berlin State Museums, Qing Dynasty, China,17th century

© Berlin State Museums. Photographer: Jürgen Liepe

The Berl iner schloss PosT | 35

The Humboldtforum

Page 36: Berliner Schloss Post Ed 11

Europe’s modern era: inspiredby non-European art and culture

World art in Berlin

The Humboldt Forum will enable worldcultures to be perceived in a new way

New opportunities for culturaland intercultural learning

Contemporary visual art in the 21st century is global, embedded in

wide-reaching networks that have an increasingly strong influence on each other. Yet the roots of this interaction go back much farther: the modern era’s great epoch-making change at the start of the 20th century was trig-gered in large part by the sustained influence of art from overseas.

Artists such as Pablo Picasso and Ernst Ludwig Kirchner discovered in the collections of the ethnology mu-

seums totally new sources of inspira-tion and expressive energy, which re-sulted in a fundamental transforma-tion in their creative work and her-alded a new era of art. Sculptures from Africa and Oceania played a particularly key role in this and non-European influences are clear to see in the works of many major artists of the modern era. They opened our eyes to the aesthetic dimension of this foreign art.

Former French President Jacques Chirac hit the nail on the head

when he said in 1995 that the Louvre could not remain a really great mu-seum if it continued to ignore the art of 70 percent of the world’s popula-tion. The outstanding quality of the

Prussian Cultural Heritage – Berlin State Museums’ non-European col-lections particularly underlines this statement. They include master-pieces of world art from every conti-nent with an incredibly impressive aesthetic effect.

The Humboldt Forum will be fun-damentally different from a tradi-

tional ethnology museum and will be split into three core components: the Agora, the Workshops of Knowledge

and the exhibition areas. The Agora on the ground floor is the

starting point that will attune the visi-tors to the diversity of world cultures and their manifestations and bring

The three partners within the Humboldt Forum will be collabo-

rating very closely on cultural educa-tion and the imparting of knowledge. It is hoped that children and young adults in particular will be introduced to art and culture here in a special way and that through the teaching of in-formation skills they will be enabled to gain new insights on their own. By having cultural, educational and re-

search institutions working together, plus a supporting programme of events (in a pupil academy / lab) within the Humboldt Forum, it will thus be possible to put over the spe-cial aspects of the cultures of Africa, America, Asia, Australia and Oceania in relation to their interaction with Europe. This will be done with a vari-ety of different emphases and utilis-ing all the media of written and visual

them into initial contact with these. A multi-purpose room and auditorium are envisaged here for performances and theatrical, musical and film events. Traditional and experimental theatre from all over the world will bring popular traditions of dramatic art to life, making them understand-able to a broad public. A music stage will be able to bring the sounds of every continent into the heart of Ber-lin and thus establish interconnec-tions between traditional bodies of music and present day movements. Special exhibition areas will enable visitors to experience the latest devel-opments in modern art from Africa, America and Asia, and, like seismo-graphs, will thus show social trends. Indeed, the Humboldt Forum must be not just a place for the historic but for the contemporary as well!

This makes the Agora – including in its role as a place of contemplation

and reflection – an integral part of our presentation of world cultures. As a forum for the academic sciences, culture and politics, the Agora will also become a place of the spoken word, where topical social policy themes will be publicly debated by high-calibre panels of selected ex-perts.

The Agora will form the heart of the Humboldt Forum and at the same time define its beat. The respective core areas, operated autonomously by the institutions concerned, will also be permeated by a dense net-work of common initiatives, which will unfold in the attractive and vi-brant events space of the Agora and radiate into the exhibition areas of the floors above. In this way the Forum will be able to create links from the museums’ historic collections to the issues of the present day and vice versa.

culture, theatre, music and film. In the Humboldt Forum knowledge

will be made available in the most comprehensive and modern of ways. From this knowledge will grow under-standing and a willingness to be at one with the cultures of the world.

Exhibition of European Expressionist painting and ancient African artEthnological Museum: Sculpture of a dignitary from the grassland of Cameroon, c. 1700

Se ite 36 | the Berl iner SchloSS PoSt

The Humboldtforum

Page 37: Berliner Schloss Post Ed 11

The Humboldt Forum will highlightcontinental diversity

The Humboldt Forum as a visionfor the 21st century

Understanding historic processes to carry out modern causal research

In the exhibition areas visitors will be able to go on a journey around

the world that will open up to them new ways of understanding cultural interrelationships and artistic trends. The aim is that each continent will gain here in profile in respect of the wealth of visual, acoustic and sensual experiences it provides.

Our objective here is not to pro-

duce a traditional, permanent exhi-bition, but rather an open, porous, transformable structure that picks up on the diversity, changes, oppor-tunities and risks of our time, dis-cerningly reflects the collections’ contemporary references and makes underlying mechanisms of man’s actions understandable from an his-toric perspective.

If Berlin’s Museum Island as a ‘sanc-tuary for art and science’ featuring

the art and culture of Europe and the

Middle East was the great vision of the 19th century, then the Humboldt Forum in Berlin Palace is the further

One element playing an important role in the Humboldt Forum will

be special exhibitions devoted to the core issues of our time: globalisation, migration, climate change, megaci-ties and many more. Many of the is-sues and problems that occupy our world today are by no means new. Migration, for example, is no present-day phenomenon, but has been a factor accompanying the course of man’s entire history. The conse-quences of this range from so-called

multicultural societies all the way to processes of population overlay. The same applies to the diverse causes and economic, political and social effects of climate change. Megacities, too, are not solely a feature of our time.

With the help of the non-European collections we will be able in the Humboldt Forum to tell these stories in an extraordinarily vivid way, to ex-plain historic processes and to dem-onstrate their causes.

development of this vision at the start of the 21st century. We are thus setting ourselves the task of reacting in ap-propriate fashion to the requirements of a globalised world. That Germany is accepting this challenge at its most distinguished location in the historic centre of its capital city is a very spe-cial gesture. The challenge is to create here a new form of access to the cul-tures of the world that will not be a purely museum-like centre, but that will also be able to build links be-tween the past and the pressing top-ics and issues of our time.

In the interplay with Museum Is-land the equal status of the world’s cultures will be made visible and visi-tors will be able to experience the cultural and artistic aspects of man’s history in a totally new way. It is on fertile soil such as this that knowledge of the world grows. Knowledge and education are the decisive keys to re-spect and tolerance towards foreign cultures, without which it is impossi-ble for the peoples of the world to live together in peace. And this too is the extraordinarily human message be-hind the Humboldt Forum’s grand

projet. We are thus referencing here – in effect taking recourse to the best of Prussia – our great tradition as a nation of knowledge and culture and are developing from this a new vision for the future. The Humboldt Forum brings with it a great opportunity to develop from these traditions a new chapter in the integration of our country into the community of the peoples of the world.

We must not waste this opportunity!

Asian Art Museum, Berlin State Museums. Photographer: Jürgen Liepe

The Berl iner schloss PosT | 37

The Humboldtforum

Page 38: Berliner Schloss Post Ed 11

The HumboldtforumSe ite 38 | the Berl iner SchloSS poSt

The historical Berliner Schloss is being rebuilt in the centre of the Ger-man capital and precisely recon-structed to a great extent. The project was acontentious issue among the population and experts alike. Thus the quality of the material exhibited in the spacious rooms of the future Humboldtforum, which is conceived as a cosmopolitan forum for social and cultural exchange, is all the more essential. It is based on the idea of pooling a wide range of material from different cultures around the world to encourage artistic and aca-demic dialogue in the centre of Ber-lin.

The Ethnological Museum and the Museum of Asian Art in the Ber-lin districtof Dahlem will therefore be based in the Humboldtforum in the future. It is intended as a special place for the art and culture of Asia, Africa, America, Australia and Ocea-nia. In 2010, an open competition

throughout Europe was announced with the aim of developing the exhi-bition architecture for both muse-ums. In view of the controversy concerning the Stadtschloss, the exhibition architecture and the pre-sentation of the exceptional collec-tions assumes the complex task of achieving a coherent connection between the building shell and its content.

The open competition process allowed a wide range of different design offices to take part. Hence it was impossible to predict the num-ber and quality of the entered con-cepts. Since the design task was for a very large, extremely prestigious museum space, both a high degree of design quality and a recognisable development potential were deci-sive for the entered work.

So the competition jury recom-mended an additional assessment round with a reduced number of

competition participants. Four teams were chosen from among the 16 entries to develop their design further in a negotiation process in which the identity of those short-listed was made public.

It was good and important that all participants followed that recom-mendation, because the competi-tion winners will face a challenging task: The large, extensive collections with numerous significant exhibits must be accommodated in rooms that were not originally conceived for the purpose of presenting exhib-its. The architecture of the largely reconstructed Stadtschloss is de-signed symmetrically, resulting in strict, uniform spatial proportions. The floor plan organisation follows a serial, repetitive system. Around 17,500 m2 of the total 41,000 m2 of usable space have been allocated to the two museums’ exhibitions on the second and third floors. Not only the

size of the exhibitions, but also the factor of time will be a challenge. The yearsof intensive collaboration be-tween exhibition architects, mu-seum representatives, academia and other participating institutions and authorities require a high level of professionalism and considerable resilience. Ideas and approaches to design must bear up to the extremely long expected planning period of seven years and yet be able to de-velop further.

In the second round of the selec-tion process, the design by Ralph Appelbaum Associates and mal-syteufel was chosen. We were espe-cially impressed by the American-German team’s diverse approaches to design. Both partners also have the necessary experience and refer-ences for a project of this size and period. Ralph Appelbaum Associates is a globally operative office based in New York, London and Beijing. Like

malsyteufel, which was founded by Prof. Victor Malsy and Prof. Philipp Teufel, the practice has twenty years of successful experience in exhibi-tion design. The presented design highlights the team’s ability to effec-tively combine different profes-sional competences while express-ing an individual character.

The design concept highlights and strengthens the intention and po-tential of the Humboldtforum. The scenographers apply the Hum-boldts’ philosophy to the present and the future, thereby stressing its relevance today. Wilhelm and Alex-ander von Humboldt valued dia-logue in their important intellectual undertakings: exchange – a move-ment between intellectual life and the outside world. Both brothers tapped new cultural horizons by ex-panding their knowledge through linguistic studies and education, as well as investigation and scientific

Exhibition design in the Berlin Humboldtforumby Barbara Holzer

Page 39: Berliner Schloss Post Ed 11

The Humboldtforumthe Berl iner schloss post | se ite 39

research. Another impressive aspect of the entry was its precise analysis of the Stadtschloss architecture. With the aim of achieving unity through diversity, Ralph Appelbaum Associ-ates and malsyteufel created sensi-ble relationships between space and content. Their simple, flexible and adaptable exhibition architecture represents an exciting contrast to the reconstructed building.

The scenographers also use a Humboldt-quote as the motto for their exhibition presentation: “We step out of the realm of objects and into the realm of impressions.” They use emotionally appealing, physi-cally tangible and large-scale pre-sentations. They pick up on the at-mospheric appearances of the two existing museums in Dahlem and interpret and present them in a spe-cial form for the new location in the Stadtschloss. The design thereby achieves a plausible evolution to present the Dahlem collections.

The designers provide specific, yet mutually connected, coherent solu-tions for both the Ethnological Mu-seum and the Museum of Asian Art. Their conceptual approach fulfils the high standards for the forward-looking handling of historical collec-tions. They take the requirements of

the curators responsible for the con-tent into account, as well as those of the visitors with varying prior insight and horizons.

As a member of the competition jury, I consider the final result to be very positive. I am convinced that the most suitable applicant was cho-sen. The work radiates the successful competence and experience neces-sary to master a planned task of such immense scale and complexity. This aspect should not be overlooked, since the choice of the exhibition designers for a task of this size means years of intensive collaboration. It is therefore important that the project is handled with a consistent ap-proach and a design hallmark that is apparent throughout all of the exhi-bition spaces.

The project may benefit from the fact that the chosen team has a fresh outsider’s view resulting from inter-national cooperation. The design shows that they are able to free them-selves from the controversial debate on the Stadtschloss and regard the strict architecture as a challenge. Well-presented content creates a co-herent unity of inner and outer ele-ments, thereby strengthening ac-ceptance of the disputed Stadtschloss building.

Ralph Appelbaum Associates and malsyteufel have above all shown through their exact analytical ap-proach that they have the required grasp of the complex, large-scale architecture of the Stadtschloss. The repetitive room structure cannot be perceived as an exhibition space at

first glance. They have also under-stood the idea of the Humboldtfo-rum in pursuing a global aim, namely to present a distillation of cultures and international cultural history.

I am convinced that Ralph Appel-baum Associates and malsyteufel

will make a significant contribution towards increasing public accep-tance of the controversial Stadtschloss reconstruction, making the future exhibition in the Hum-boldtforum always worth a visit in the heart of Berlin.

Tender invitation: Stiftung Ber-liner Schloss – Humboldtforum | Client: Stiftung Berliner Schloss – Humboldtforum | represented by: Bundesamt für Bauwesen und Raumordnung, Referat A 2, Beate Hückelheim-Kaune, Philipp Dit-trich; Referat IV 1, Volker Grübener, Ines Miersch-Süß – till may 2011, Daniela Ramdani, Nina Wengatz – since september 2011 | user: Sta-atliche Museen zu Berlin, Ethnolo-gisches Museum und Museum für Asiatische Kunst | Site: Berliner Schloss – Humboldtforum,

Interdisciplinary open competi-tion: jury: expert jurors: Prof. Bar-bara Holzer, Zürich; Martin Heller, Zürich; Bernd Hoge, Paris; Dr. Al-bert Lutz, Zürich; Prof. Uwe J. Rein-hardt, Stuttgart; Jette Sandahl, Ko-penhagen | jurors representing the

client: Dr. Sigrid Bias-Engels, BKM; Günter Hoffmann, BMVBS; Man-fred Rettig, speaker SBS-HF; Prof. Dr. Hermann Parzinger, president SPK; Prof. Dr. Michael Eissen-hauer, general director SMB;

16 participants in the open com-petition: prizes: one prize: Ralph Appelbaum Associates, New York/London; malsyteufel, Willich; Anita Brockmann, Köln; one prize: Mila – Jakob Tigges, Berlin; Iglhaut + von Grote, Berlin; one prize: merz sauter zimmermann GmbH, Stutt-gart; one prize: raumkontor Inne-narchitektur, Düsseldorf; Dr. Karl Müller, Meerbusch

Negotiation process with revision of prize-winning competition de-signs: Advice committee: Dr. Stephan Trüby, Stuttgart/Zürich;

Prof. Barbara Holzer, Zürich; Prof. Dr. Viola König, SMB – Ethnolo-gisches Museum; Prof. Dr. Klaas Ruitenbeek, SMB – Museum für Asiatische Kunst; Jette Sandahl, Ko-penhagen; Astrid Bornheim, Berlin; Martin Heller, Zürich; Dan Rahimi, Toronto; Monika Zessnik, SMB; Dr. Peter Junge, SMB - EM; Raffael Gadebusch, SMB - AKU | Con-tracted on: Ralph Appelbaum As-sociates, New York/London; mal-syteufel, Willich | start of project design: 04/2012 | start of construc-tion: 09/2016 – completion: 02/2019 | Areas: Ethnologisches Museum ca. 10.000 m2 | Museum für Asiatische Kunst ca. 5.000 m2 | Other exhibi-tion space: ca. 3.000 m2 | Total exhi-bition space: ca. 18.000 m2 | total costs: 32 Mio. Euro

Page 40: Berliner Schloss Post Ed 11

Public relationsthe Berl iner schloss post | se ite 40

In mid-June the area in front of the Humboldt Box was trans-formed into a sea of roses, as Marianne von Weizsäcker, wife of former German President Dr. Richard Freiherr von Weizsäcker, presided over a special rose-nam-ing ceremony. In the presence of

her husband and numerous in-vited guests she christened a newly cultivated, beautiful, vel-vety maroon rose ‘Berlin Palace’!

The rose resembles many roses of the Baroque era, i.e. the period in which the palace took on its ul-timate form. It flowers repeatedly

all summer long and has dense, rich green, gleaming foliage.

It was cultivated at the sugges-tion of Berlin horticulture special-ist Prof. Dr. Hartmut Balder by one of Europe’s largest rose-growing firms, BKN Strobel GmbH & Co. KG of Holm near Pinneberg in

Schleswig-Holstein, and will now help to financially support the re-construction of Berlin Palace.

After the naming ceremony nu-merous Berliners were already buying their very own Palace Rose. You too can do this! The roses, very robust plants, are delivered in

plant pots. Wouldn’t it be wonder-ful if the Palace Rose were soon blooming in numerous gardens, reminding everyone of the great cultural project in the heart of Berlin?

Marianne von Weizsäcker christens a new rose

‘Berlin Palace’

Greeting the guest of honour.

Crowds gather to buy the roses.

Arnim Esser, BKN Strobel, the ‘inventor’ of the rose (left).

The christening: Marianne v. Weizsäcker, assisted by Angelika Kölle.

Contented attentiveness.

The Federal President with Prof. Dr. Richard Schröder, Chairman of the Friends of Berlin Palace.

Manfred Rettig and wife. Behind them: Hajo Steinmeier and Hans Jörg Kähler (BKN Strobel)

Page 41: Berliner Schloss Post Ed 11

Public relationsSe ite 41 | the Berl iner SchloSS poSt

During a trip to New York in early 2012, Kathleen von Alvensleben and I visited Henry Kissinger, the former American foreign minister and Nobel Peace Prize winner, in his office. Since way back in 1993, he has been one of the most impor-tant and highest profile supporters of the rebuilding of Berlin Palace.

At that time the Friends of Berlin Palace had just erected the huge full-scale simulation of the palace on its exact historical footprint – a sight that fascinated millions. This dramatic representation of the his-toric building was the break-through in the palace debate, swinging sentiment in favour of its reconstruction. People were able to see what they had not been able to imagine and grasped the fact that it was only the palace that could re-store the architectural harmony of the former centre of the city. De-spite numerous other preserved, restored or completely recon-structed buildings, the day the pal-ace was demolished this had ceased to exist. All of the others had been built after the palace and their architectural reference point was not so much each other as the pal-ace itself. They had stood in a won-

derful architectural dialogue with the palace, which was the site’s gravitational centre.

Henry Kissinger was already helping us back then to take the tension out of the often very politi-cally oriented debate. He origi-nates from Fürth in Franconia. His family, Jewish Germans, had to emigrate from National Socialist Germany to escape persecution. At

that time he was a teenager, much taken by football and is today still a fan of the Fürth football team, which now plays in the top flight of the Bundesliga. In summer 1993 in Berlin a peace conference was held, attended by Henry Kissinger and many other important politicians, aimed at finding a way towards lasting world peace. Another at-tendee at the conference was the

former Soviet ambassador in Bonn, Valentin Falin.

Both had heard of the discussion about the reconstruction of Berlin Palace and were suddenly stand-ing, without any formal advance notice, in our exhibition, sur-rounded by dozens of other visi-tors. Coincidentally I was also there – and when I had recovered from my shock, I welcomed them both and guided them around the exhi-bition. An animated conversation ensued, in the course of which both Henry Kissinger and Valentin Falin expressed their inability to com-prehend the heated arguments about the reconstruction of the palace. They were particularly irri-tated by many people’s concerns that the reconstruction could be interpreted as a return to a danger-ous German nationalism.

Especially as a Jewish emigrant, he couldn’t understand this, said Kissinger. What did the palace, which had stood in Berlin for cen-turies, have to do with the causes of National Socialism. On the con-trary, he said, it was a great testi-mony to German culture. Falin added that in Moscow they had begun to rebuild two cathedrals in

the city centre very near to the Kremlin that were demolished under Stalin’s regime and were doing so because everyone agreed that this act of barbarism had to be undone. “While you debate, we’ve long since started building!”

Both then spontaneously signed the guest book as supporters of the reconstruction of Berlin Palace.

Via Wolf Jobst Siedler, who pub-lished Henry Kissinger’s books at his publishing house, we had fur-ther contact with Kissinger – which confirmed my impression that in him we had gained a fascinating supporter to spread the word of our plans to rebuild the palace.

In 2005, we gained a further such supporter: Kathleen von Alvensle-ben, an American architect living in Berlin, who would go on to de-velop a Friends of Berlin Palace or-ganisation in the USA. Since then she has repeatedly done successful work on our behalf in the country with great charm and dedication. She succeeded in setting up the Honorary Board for the Recon-struction of Berlin Palace (see page …), in which task Henry Kissinger helped her as if it was the most natural thing in the world to do and

Wilhelm von Boddien, Manfred Rettig CEO Stiftung Berlner Schloss-Hum-boldtforum, Dr. Henry Kissinger

Henry Kissinger in Berlinby Wilhelm von Boddien

Rebuilding Berlin Palace:

Dr. Kissinger’s Speech. Left: Dr. Jürgen Leibfried

Page 42: Berliner Schloss Post Ed 11

Public relationsthe Berl iner schloss post | se ite 42

put her in touch with numerous contacts. Via him, for example, we were able to gain the support of the former American president and honorary citizen of Berlin, George H. Bush, who played in a key part in facilitating German reunification.

On our visit this year we asked Henry Kissinger, who is now 89 years old, whether he would be available during on of his numer-ous visits to Germany and Berlin to be guest of honour at a fundraising party – he immediately said yes. He could do it in September – “Let me know!” Thus in September 2012 at the wonderful old villa of Jürgen

Leibfried an evening function took place in a cheerful atmosphere with many high-profile guests.

The highpoint was Henry Kiss-inger’s speech. He began in Eng-lish, saying that he didn’t know if people here in Berlin would be able to understand his German because of his strong Franconian accent.

Laughter all round. Then he car-ried on in perfect German, telling us that his father had been a proud Franconian and had brought him up that way as well. Franconians, he said, always orient themselves towards the south. Crossing the Main to the north was not some-

thing that you did. In America his father, he said, had always believed that he had it in him to become foreign minister of the USA, but he would never have imagined that he would one day be promoting the reconstruction of Berlin Palace.

He would have regarded that as a sacrilege. But he was doing pre-cisely that and doing so with a pas-sion, because it was so hugely im-portant, he said, to rebuild in the shape of the palace a great testi-mony to German culture and with in doing so to give Berlin back a piece of its identity. It will not sur-prise you to learn that the evening

was a great fundraising success and brought us a considerable way fur-ther along our path.

This outcome, however, was also made possible and enhanced by the very special fact that the entire eve-ning was gifted to the society. Jürgen and Serap Leibfried donated the evening to us.

They invited guests and were de-lightful, generous and welcoming hosts. Lufthansa made the trip pos-sible, Mercedes-Benz provided a fabulous car and the Schlosshotel in the Grunewald Forest was our guest of honour’s elegant home from home. We would like to thank them

all for their wonderful generosity, for providing this so willingly and for the ease and simplicity with which any questions were resolved. We thus enjoyed an unforgettable, cheerful evening with great hosts and lots of contented guests!

Henry Kissinger’s visit was a highpoint of our work in support of the rebuilding of Berlin Palace. It is simply moving to have such friends as supporters! Thank you!

All Pictures of the event with many thanks: © Christian Lietzmann, Berlin.

Meet the press! Henry Kissinger talking to Dr. Christoph Franz, CEO Lufthansa

John Kornblum, former US-Ambassador to Germany, Henry Kissinger, Kathleen von Alvensleben, Christa Princess of Prussia

An amazed audienceThe Schloss-Simulation 1993

Page 43: Berliner Schloss Post Ed 11

The Berliner Schloss: A powerful symbol ofrebirth and reconciliation for all of Europe

by John Kornblum

Why rebuild an imperial palace in the center of Berlin? Why honor

the seat of the last Kaiser, Wilhelm II, who bears much responsibility for World War I? Why restore a build-ing on whose balcony the first commu-nist dictatorship in Germany was

proclaimed in 1918? And above all, why rebuild the heart of the city which as Hitler’s capitol, rained death and destruction on millions of Euro-peans?

It is because when a historic monu-ment is restored, it brings alive the meaning of a nation. It demonstrates the skills, the hopes and the failings of the people. It helps restoring the memory of cul tural values, especially of those whose heritage has been tinged by recent history.

As the Cold War recedes into his-tory, newly democratic governments in capitols such as Warsaw, Moscow,

and Kiev have understood the impor-tance of rebuild ing historic sites. Their reappear ance has brought a sense of pride and self-worth which far predates the crimes of the 20th century. The city of Dresden has pur-sued reconstruction of the glorious Frauenkirche as a symbol of recon-ciliation. Much of the cost was do-nated by the citizens from the United Kingdom and the Untied States, whose bombers took part in the 1945 raid which destroyed it.

Reconstruction of the Berliner Schloss will be an equally powerful symbol of rebirth and reconcilia tion

for all of Europe. It stands in the middle of Berlin, at the cross roads between East and West. It was badly damaged in Hitler’s war. It could have been rebuilt, but was instead dyna-mited by Stalinist East German com-munists who were determined to erase any vestige of Germany’s pre-war heritage.

For 45 years a divided Berlin stood witness to the deep gash through the heart of Europe brought by Nazi and Stalinist dictatorship. Berlin symbol-ized a divided city, a divided nation and a continent torn apart by barbed wire and communist dictatorship.

The United States, more than any other nation, kept the hope of libera-tion of East Germany and Eastern Europe alive. We defended the free-dom of West Berlin. President Reagan ushered in the final collapse of the communist empire.

We Americans have worked for over 50 years on the reunification of Berlin, Germany and Europe. The reconstruction of the Berliner Schloss in the heart of Berlin would be the symbolic crowning of this event.

John Kornblum is the formerAmerican ambassador to Germany

Kathleen King von Alvensleben has recently joined Wilhelm

von Boddien’s team to help raise funds for the reconstruction of the Berliner Schloss.

Ms. von Alvensleben’s major emphasis will be raising funds in the United States. Recognizing that 25% of all Americans claim to be of German descent, and con-sidering the strong support that came out of the US for the re-con-struction of the Dresden Frauen-kirche, it seems logical to intensify

the fundraising efforts for the Schloss in the US. Preliminary ef-forts have demonstrated substan-tial support and interest in Amer-ica for this prestigious, historical and politically significant project.

Ms. von Alvensleben is Ameri-can, born and raised in the United States. She first visited the site of the Schloss already in 1977 (which was then in East Berlin), while she was travelling in Germany as a high school exchange student. During her undergraduate years,

she received a Rotary Scholarship which allowed her to study abroad at the Technical University in Mu-nich in 1983–84.

Once again Ms. von Alvensleben visited Berlin on both sides of the wall. She completed her studies with a degree in Architecture at Arizona State University.

She has spent the last 16 years in Europe, 3 years practicing com-mercial architecture throughout continental Europe while based in London, and 13 years in Berlin.

After almost 20 years of commer-cial practice, it was time for a new challenge.

Capitalizing on her experi ence and achievements of successfully acquiring new work from the in-ternational development com-munity and still very interested in the built environment and the historic and political value of sig-nificant histor ic buildings, fund-raising for the Berliner Schloss is the perfect project for Ms. von Al-vensleben.

Kathleen King von Alvensleben

Kathleen King von Alvensleben

The Schloss Bridge today (inset) and 2018

Our representative of the Berliner Schloss for the United States:

The Berl iner schloss PosT | 43

Public relations

© M

arc S


Page 44: Berliner Schloss Post Ed 11

44 | The Berl iner schloss PosT

Public relations

The collection of donations for the reconstruction of the Berlin Pal-

ace is also underway in the USA. A so-called „Friend-Raising Dinner” that was given by the General Consul of the Federal Republic of Germany in his residence and which was spon-sored by the famous auction house Christie’s , reached a very special highpoint when Nobel Prize winner, Prof. Dr. Günter Blobel presented a certificate to the business manager of the Förderverein, Wilhelm von Boddien. It confirmed that the Friends of Dresden would now sup-port the reconstruction of the Berlin Palace as a cultural center to be known as the Humboldt Forum. To this end the Friends of Dresden Foundation had previously unani-mously changed their By-Laws.

As a result of this action, we can now also obtain donations in the USA which are recognized there as charitable and entitled to tax de-ductibility. It is a wonderful break-through for our years of effort to win friends in the USA for the project. Read for yourself what the DPA re-ported about it: Ronald S. Lauder on February 7, 2007 in the Infocenter for the Reconstruction of the Berlin Pal-ace. To his right is Kathleen von Al-vensleben, the US representative of

the Förderverein. Ronald S. Lauder, the well-known American art collec-tor, cosmetics heir and patron, in-forms himself on February 9, 2007, in the “Infocenter for the Reconstruc-tion of the Berlin Palace” in Berlin about the Humboldt Forum and the steps to be taken in the rebuilding of the Palace.

As a supporter of the Friends of Dresden foundation, New York, Lauder was decisively involved in the successful collection of funds for the rebuilding of the Frauenkirche. The

Chairman of the foundation, the Nobel Prize winner Prof. Dr. Günter Blobel, recently declared in New York that the Friends of Dresden will also now support the reconstruction of the Berlin Palace.

Lauder, who is also the former US Ambassador to Austria, has declared himself in favor of this major Berlin cultural project. He is especially in-terested in the plans of the Federal Ministry for Construction which were made public a few days ago and in the work of the Förderverein for

the reconstruction of the Palace fa-cades. He left the Infocenter “very impressed” with the quality and the size of the project. Lauder discussed the idea of further cooperation in the USA with Kathleen von Alvensleben, the representative of the Förderver-ein in America. On January 31, 2007,

in a greeting delivered upon the oc-casion of a so-called “friends raising” dinner in the residence of the Ger-man General Consul, Dr. Hans-Jür-gen Heimsoeth in New York, Lauder called upon his countrymen to make donations for the rebuilding of the Berlin Palace.

Ronald S. Lauder in the Infocenter for the Reconstruction of the Berlin Palace. To his right, Kathleen King von Alvensleben, US representative of the Förderverein

Friends and Circle ofSupporters in the USA

Cooperation in the USA with the Friends of Dresden, New York

New York (dpa) – Just as in the case of the Frauenkirche in Dresden, Americans also

want to support the reconstruction of the Berlin Palace. The Förderverein Berliner Schloss (the Union for the Berlin Palace) has agreed to work to-gether to this end with the Friends of Dresden, an organization founded by the US Nobel Prize winner, Günter Blobel. Already $62,000 (around 48,000 Euros.) have come in at a kick-off function held in New York.

„We want to create a network of highly respected individuals who can then pass on our idea to other possi-ble donors with a snowball effect”, said co-organizer Wilhelm von Bod-dien to the dpa in New York on Thurs-day. „There are many people in Amer-ica who have a connection with Ger-many and therefore are prepared to support such a project.” Kathleen von Alvensleben, an American who lives in Berlin, is the person acting with respect to the appeal in the USA.

The initial start up function was supported by the auction house Christies and by the German General Consul among others. In addition,

the German Ambassador in Washing-ton has expressed his support. The porcelain collector, Richard Baron Cohen, exhibited his most beautiful pieces from KPM, the Royal Porcelain Manufactory of Berlin, decorated with various motifs showing the his-toric Hohenzollern Palace, in order to warm up the guests to the idea.

The Friends of Dresden were in-volved in the reconstruction of the Frauenkirche to the extent of several million dollars. By working together with it, the Union for the Berlin Palace has already obtained a string of fa-

mous potential US supporters. Be-sides Blobel, there belong to the Board of the Friends of Dresden, as honorary members, the cosmetics heir and art collector Ronald Lauder, ex-Secretary of State Henry Kissinger and the banker David Rockefeller, among others.

The partial rebuilding of the Berlin Palace is to begin in three years, ac-cording to an announcement by Con-struction Minister Wolfgang Tief-ensee. By 2013, the project, which is estimated to cost 480 million Euros, should be completed.

The Nobel Prize winner, Prof. Dr. Günter Blobel of New York, handed over to Wilhelm v. Boddien, his certificate concerning cooperation.

Ronald S. Lauder supports the Rebuilding of the Berlin Palace

Over the centuries, the Berliner Schloss symbolized important chapters in German history

n During the 20th century, the Schloss wit-nessed the collapse of German democracy and the rise of both fascism and communism. Its eventual destruction in 1950 was an act of cul-tural retribution by the East German commu-nist regime. Nearly 20 years after its reunifica-tion, democratic Germany also has the opportu-nity to return the center of Berlin to its historic unity. The reconstruction of the Berliner Schloss will restore to Berlin and Europe a legacy of European heritage which crosses geographic and ideological frontiers. Rebuilding this great pa-lace will give back to Berlin its cultural heart and a good part of its soul. It will also return to Europe one of those important edifices which in-clude the Frauenkirche in Dresden, the Royal Palace in Warsaw and the Salvation Cathedral in Moscow whose reconstruction has once again proven that the human spirit can prevail


o: W




ss F


, Fra



Henry Kissinger:

Page 45: Berliner Schloss Post Ed 11

Comments of VIP’s

Joachim Gauck, President of the Federal Republik of Germany

In my role as pa-tron of the Berlin Palace - Humboldt

Forum Foundation I would like in particular to emphasise the forward-looking aspects of the project. These lie for me in an outward-looking, cosmopolitation configuration of the content of the Humboldt Forum, which underlines the role it will have in the heart of Germany's capital in a productive and constructive dia-logue between the cultures of the world.

Dr. Angela Merkel (Chancellorof the Federal Republic ofGermany)

On February 3, 1945, during an air

attack, the Berlin Palace sustained far reaching damage. Thereby, and with the final demolition of the Palace in the 1950s, the city suffered a wound which to this day has not yet been healed. The continuing discussions concerning the demolition of the Palace of the Republic and the recon-struction of the former Palace make this clear. On this spot controveries have been ignited regarding how to deal with our own history -- contro-versies which must be understood in the context of the differing evolutions of East and West Germany. For my part, as you know, I am in favor of the rebuilding of the Palace.

GeneralColin L. Powell, Secretary of State(Retired)

„The Berliner Schloss is an impor-tant part of Berlin

and German history and needs to be returned to its rightful place and prominence. As you noted, I served in Germany during the Cold War and remember with joy the collapse of the wall and the unification of Germany. As Secretary of State, it was my honor and pleisure to waive certain security requirements so that the American Embassy building would be placed in the center of Berlin and not out in the suburbs.“

Ieoh Ming Pei, (Star-Architect, New York)

„I wish you good success with the re-construction of the Berliner Schloss!“

Daniel Coats,(Former American Ambassador to Germany)

„The completion of the new American Embassy in Pariser

Platz, and the rebuilding of the Ber-liner Schloss will complete the resto-ration of Unter den Linden, making it one of the most important and beau-tiful streets in all of Europe“

Günther Blobel(Nobel PrizeWinner)

„The rebuilding of the Berliner Schloss will be as essential for the identity of the

center of Berlin as was the rebuilding of the Frauenkirche for restoring the identity of Dresden. A rebuilt Schloss will enrich Berlin as much as the re-built Frauenkirche already enriches life in Dresden.“

Philip Johnson †(Star-Architect,New York)

„I am in favor of the rebuilding of the Berliner Schloss be-cause its reconstruc-

tion is so important for the new face of the city which will be so strongly dominated be the modern style. The historic interiors of the Schloss are not determinative; it is the exterior form. Only [by reconstructing these facades] is it possible to restore the spatial effect of the relationship to Schinkel’s Old Museum and his Fried-richswerder Church."

Wolfgang Thierse(Vicepresidentof the GermanFederalParliament)

„It is a painful feel-ing to think that Ber-

lin should not be allowed, as has been possible for other cities, to recreate historical architecture… How much does a city like Berlin, which has so much, excellent, average and bad modern architecture, and which – in accordance with the famous saying – has destroyed itself again and again, need such a confirmation of the real-ization of its history… What an en-semble there will be at the east end of Unter den Linden with the partial re-construction of the Schloss! That would be reclaimed his tory, sur-rounded by so much architectural modernity. Can you imagine that? Can it become reality? Let’s not be cowardly!“

Dr. MarionCountessDönhoff †(PublisherDie Zeit)

„I am for the re-building of the Berliner Schloss be-cause everything which allows his-tory to become clearly perceptible is indispensable for the self under-standing of the living and the com-ing generations. It would be errone-ous to obstruct this idea with the argument that a copy is only some-thing false.

Warsaw, which was totally de-stroyed in accordance with Hitler’s wishes, is a good example. It was reduced from a city of one million to one of 2,000 inhabitants. I asked the then foreign minister of Poland, Rapacki, in the 1960’s whether it wasn’t better to first build dwellings for the people subsisting in the ruins and cellars instead of newly replacing the old market, however unique it may have been. His almost outraged reply was, „But Madam, you forget what history means for Poland.“

Prof. Dr. Richard SchröderHumboldtUniversity Berlin(Publisher)

„I am for the re-building of the Ber-

liner Schloss because otherwise the venerable avenue Unter den Linden becomes a joke without a punch line.“

JohannWolfgang vonGoethe(fascinated by Pala-dio’s build ings in Vicenza)

„From lies and imagination the architect creates something third which enchants us.”

Hardy Krüger(Actor)

„Your project is impressive, and I will exchange this or an-other word with my African gods, be-

cause it is important to me that you have success with this enterprise which must be considered to be of almost superhuman magnitude.“

Here you will find statements of prominent individuals onbehalf of the reconstruction of the Berliner Schloss

Public relationsThe Berl iner schloss PosT | 45

Letter from the former President and honorary citizen of Berlin, George Bush

Senior regarding our US activities.

Page 46: Berliner Schloss Post Ed 11

We Germans have decided to make Berlin once again our ca-

pital city. For this reason we are all mutually responsible for it. Berlin is not only becoming the focus of poli-tics, it is even more so becoming the crystallization point of German cul-ture and achievement.

This challenge cannot be met by the capital city on its own. It is finan-cially bled dry by the consequences of the division. Business emigrated to the West. Berlin lost large segments of the citizenry which previously sup-ported the city through Nazi terror and flight from the oppression of the German Democratic Republic. Un-realistic hopes for a rapid growth in the first years following the fall of the wall led to speculative errors in eco-nomic policy and a gigantic indeb-tedness for the city.

Should we be happy about all this? Hardly! For we have all become Berli-ners with our decision to make it the capital. A negative image of the capi-tal also damages the total reputation

of all Germany. Berlin’s cultural faci-lities are its most important aspect. If one polishes this jewel, so to speak, the numbers of visitors will mar-kedly increase, as one can see in the example of Dresden which is much farther along because of the reconstruction of the Frauenkirche and the Resi-dence Palace with its Green Vaults. They are bringing a lot of money to the city. Berlin can also manage its renewal in this manner so as to have no lasting need for sub-sidies.

An Opportunityfor our Youth

The Humboldt-Forum is an oppor-tunity for all of us. It stands for our educational future…for a deepening of the general level of education… because it offers an opportunity to each citizen.

A broad general education of our youth awakens their curiosity and

their imagination. Curiosity and ima-gination are one of the surest prescrip-tions against bad marks in their stu-

dies. Our youth will learn the cultu-ral relationships in the world. This universal education will make us able to compete in the interna-tional markets, because we will have learned to understand the relationship between culture and


Magnificent WorldCulture

For the first time in our history, our capital will not be ruled by a center of political power, but rather by a place of the highest world culture which people will mention in one breath with the radiance of Paris, London and Rome. Neil McGregor, the Gene-ral Director of the British Museum in London, writes in the FAZ that with this project, Berlin is on a path to creating a “cultural world miracle”. That is the size of the project towards which we are driving. It will increase

Germany’s reputation, our reputa-tion, in the whole world!

Small and LargeDonations

You should participate in this great project with a donation for the rebuil-ding of the Palace as a national cultu-ral center. The state is helping. Through having confirmed the chari-table nature of the project, it has made it possible for you to take a de-duction for your donation.

Germany has 82 million inhabi-tants. By world standards we are a rich country. Nevertheless, many cannot or will not give anything, although we all profit from this un-dertaking. We have to live with this fact. But yet if only several hundred thousand of us participate in the above-mentioned manner, each to the extent of his own ability, the pro-ject will succeed. If those citizens want to take on the responsibility for our capital, our donation collection will be successful.

Now we are asking for public spiritedness and public involvement!

Many RaindropsCan Fill Up an

Entire Sea

Show your public spirit! Adopt the Berlin Palace with

the Humboldt-Forum through your donation!











es: e


o, B


by Wilhelm von Boddien

The Humboldt-Forum isa huge challenge!

Donations46 | The Berl iner schloss PosT

Donationsalready 24Million

56 Millionstill missing

(October 2010)

Page 47: Berliner Schloss Post Ed 11

For only 50 Euros. you can symbolically obtain 1/5 of a Palace stone. A whole one costs 250 Euros.

All stones are awarded only once and only to you. Thus, you receive a unique item! And naturally, your donation will be memorialized in the annals of the Palace if you so desire,

and in the internet. This applies to partial stones as well. Purchasers of one or more complete building stones receive in addition for purchases over 250 Euros our official Palace donation letter with a sketch of the location of their stones in the façade. However, it may be even more interesting to you to donate one of the costly decorative elements of the Palace facades. In this way you can be identified for all time with a

very special, immediately recognizable artistic building component. This is naturally more expensive than a building stone but also more identifiable. From as low as 850 Euros you can symbolically acquire, for example, an artfully crafted baluster for the balustrade of the Palace. Some of the other things you can acquire are shown in the examples of decora-tive elements pictured below.

Your support will be seen there worldwide, along with our thanks for your generous donation!

You have no access to the internet but want to donate a decorative element?Order one from us using the coupon on the backside of the Decorative Element Catalogue!

On the sides of the window frame under the architrave, hang rams’ heads in profile. From their mouths grow laurel swags. The horns as well as the vegeta-tion protrude somewhat over the edge of the underlying wall.Height: about .36 meters.


Large and small brackets in the main cornice of both of the Palace Square Portals, having grooves in their fron-tal view. This arrangement follows Vignola’s order.Height: about 1.5 meters. Total width: about .47 meters.Width of the stone: 1.75 meters


Beneath the windowsill; decorated with scroll-shaped and seashell like ornaments.Height: about .8 meters. Width: about .2 meters


You get an approximately. 7 m long serpentine segment with a lion’s head. A lion’s head sat above each bracket on the large cornice beneath the balustrade.Height: about .37 meters. Width: about .7 meters. 2.401.00

Located on the encircling cornice in the upper section.

Here are some examples of decorative elements:Please order our catalogue or have a look at the catalogue on our homepage!

Get Yourself a Memorial

They are available as 1/5 partial stones at 50 Euros and as complete stone for 250 Euros. Or donate a decorative element for the Palace façade and become

involved at a cost of from 1.250 Euros, to over 1 million Euros!

Seashells, Mezzanine window

Small Brackets in the “Parade” Floor Palace Windows

Lion’s Heads Ram’s Head with Garland Brackets, Portal II

Metope – Portal II

In the internet under the above address you can send your donation on its way: Click on “Schloss-baustein und Schmuckelement erwerben” [Pa-

lace Stones and Decorative Element donation] at the very beginning of the menu list. The menu then easily leads you to your goal. And after the

receipt of your donation ( also including donati-ons of 1/5 of a stone for 50 Euros.) you can “visit” it in the internet as well.

Encircling Balustrade,Balusters

Flower stems under the mezzanine windows

Window housing found on the first upper story of the Lust-garten, Palace Square and Spree River facades. Bukranion with shield and garland. Extremely artistic, difficult sculptu-ral work. The so-called “Bukranion” which is a steer’s skull borrowed from Greek mythology, is found here in the form of a fascinating mask set in a shield with curved sides that lie below it. It is festively deco-rated with garlands. This motif is already to be found on Michelangelo’s facades for the courtyard of the Pa-lazzo Farnese.Total depth ofthe stone: 1.0 meters


Portals I, II, IV, V and the Schlüterhof. These are the capitals on the small rows of columns. The Corinthian capital is carved out of a cup-like form which is surrounded with two rows of acanthus leaves, arranged vertically. Out of the acanthus foliage spiral forms arise, the so-called helixes. A square plate with recessed sides tops the capital. Ablossom adorns eachside of the plate.

Exterior size about.8 meters x .8 metersx .65 meters


Portal II. The “Eagle Ca-pital” of the large co-lumns. These capitals belong to the “compo-site” order. Below, the capital is surrounded with vertically arranged acanthus leaves. From these leaves arise eagles spreading their wings which partially cover the top plate of the capital. Schlüter adapted for this purpose the composite capitals pictu-red in Vignola’s architectural handbook. Overall exterior size: about 2.05 meters x 2.05 meters x 1.80 meters. 159.900.00

Bukranion Corinthian Capital Gigantic Column Capital

A balustrade constitutes the upper border of the Pa-lace facades and the cour-tyards. The individual ba-lusters are carved in va-rying forms depending on the particular façade.

The height of a baluster is about 1.34 meters.


Hanging leaf buds, one stem con-sists of five, made by individual flowers tied together with ribbon

Height: about .2 metersWidth: .55 meters


In the upper entablature of the housing of the mezzanine windows, there are decora-tions in bold relief in the form of shells on the large staircases.Height: about .55 metersWidth: .55 meters


Rosette shapedMetopes between the brackets of the main cornice of the two Palace Square Portals. Very beautiful ex-amples of the stone carver’s art.

They are all variously worked rosettes formed out of acanthus leaves arranged like a flower and placed on a rectangular panel.7Rosette: about .48 meters by .48 meters


Donate a Palace Building Stone

Page 48: Berliner Schloss Post Ed 11

Herausgeber: Förderverein Berliner Schloss e.V., 22551 Hamburg, PF 56 02 20, verantwortlich für den Inhalt: Wilhelm v. Boddien, Co-Redaktion: Kathleen King von Alvensleben Englischsprachige Ausgabe, 11. Auflage, insgesamt 100.000. Die gesamte Auflage wurde aus Spenden an den Förderverein finanziert. Wir danken allen, die uns damit geholfen haben. Bildnachweis: Landesbildstelle Berlin, Stiftung Preußische Schlösser und Gärten Berlin-Brandenburg, Archiv Schloss Charlottenburg, Brandenburgisches Landesamt für Denkmalpflege, Wünsdorf. Farbfoto der Schlosssimulation: Michael Haddenhorst, Berlin. Nachdruck, auch auszugsweise gegen Zusendung eines Belegexemplares gestattet. Für die Fotos gilt das Urheberrecht des Fotografen bzw. des Archivs. Wiedergaben bedürfen unserer ausdrücklichen Genehmigung und unterliegen der Gebührenordnung des jeweiligen Archivs. Alle CAD-Rekonstruktionen: Copyright: eldaco, Rostock, 0381/795 11 07. Layout und Gestaltung: Projektdesign Berlin, Druck: BVZ Berliner Zeitungsdruck GmbH (auf umweltfreundlichem Recyclingpapier gedruckt)IM



Dear Reader!Now you have complete information regarding the reconstruction of the Berliner Schloss.We hope that we have convinced you! To reach our aim we need strong support, becausewithout money there will be no New Schloss of Berlin.

Förderverein Berliner Schloss e. V.Postfach 56 02 20D - 22551 Hamburg

My complete address is as follows:

Last Name, First Name



Telephone Telefax


Please clip and send in by mail or by fax.

Purchase your symbolic Berlin Palace Brick! Donate for the Schloss façade!

With your donation you have become a productive contributor for the reconstruction of the Berliner Schloss. For eternity! All contributors will be documented in a suitable form for future generations, so that our children and grandchildren will be informed about this unique endeavour by hundreds of thousands of citizens. For tax purposes, we confirm:

On account of our support for the advancement of education and culture, we are recognized in Germany as a particularly noteworthy and non-profit organization.

Förderverein Berliner Schloss e. V.: Postfach 56 02 20 · 22551 Hamburg · 040 - 89 80 75-0 · Fax: 040 - 89 80 75-10 · E-Mail: [email protected] ·

Bank account: Deutsche Bank AG · routing number: 100 700 00 · account number: 077 2277IBAN: DE41 1007 0000 0077 2277 00 · SWIFT-Code: DEUTDEBB

Please pardon us if we have not translated all of the Text without mistakes. If you have found an error, we would be grateful for your correction. Please send it to us: [email protected].

Yes, I would like to purchase ………. 1/5 Berliner Schloss brick (s) for a total value of (minimum $ 50 per 1/5 partial brick)

Yes, I would like to purchase ………. a complete Berliner Schloss brick (s) for a total value of (minimum $ 250 per brick)

Yes, I would like to purchase a(n) ………….(enter name of element) as a decorative element of the façade for a total value of $ ………….(minimum amount $ 910, refer to price index in the internet or in the catalogue.)

Please send me the complete catalogue of the decorative elements of the façade. (currently only available in German language)

I agree to be mentioned by name on the internet (name and city only)

(Please send me a confirmation of my donation after the deposit of my donation, for german tax purposes. Tax benefit currently only applicable in Germany.

I am interested in becoming a member of the Foundation Berliner Schloss for the Reconstruction of the Berliner Schloss. Please send me an application form. (Mi-nimum $ 60 / year for an individual membership, $ 500 / year for a corporate membership.)

I would like to become a volunteer in my county for the Reconstruction of the Berli-ner Schloss. I would like to inform my friends and colleagues about the Reconstruc-tion of the Berliner Schloss. Please send me ………copies of the Berliner Schloss Post.

I would like to display the Schloss Post in my business for distribution to my clients, free of charge. Please send me ……………copies of the Schloss Post free of charge.

I have enclosed some addresses of friends and colleagues whom I believe would also be interested in the Reconstruction of the BerlinerSchloss. You may use me as reference.

I have a special inquiry. Please call me.

Date Signature (please sign here)

Donations for the reconstruction of the Palace of Berlinare tax-deductible:

European Union: citizens of the countries of the European Union can give do-nations, tax-deductible in their home-country. As there are differences between the countries, please ask us by mail, how to do it!

If you are US-American Citizen and want a confirmation for your tax-deductible donation:Donations should be made out to “Friends of Dresden Inc.”and should be sent toFriends of Dresden Inc. · c/o Dr. Guenter Blobel 1230 York Avenue · New York, NY 10021, USA

The “Friends of Dresden, Inc.” is a nonprofit 501 (3)(c) charitable organization. It will be able to accept tax deductible donations for the reconstruction of the Berlin Schloss. It will issue confirmation of the donation to the donor for tax purposes right after the donation has been received.

Now it depends on you!With this coupon you can help.

48 | The Berl iner schloss PosT

The Berliner Schloss