Neue Nationalgalerie – Museum des 20. Jahrhunderts
Berlin, Germany
Competition 2016, Project 2016-

The Idea

A house for twentieth century art? Yes: A HOUSE, straightforward and specific. No abstract shape, because it could not be purer and more perfect than the Neue Nationalgalerie. Nor an organic, playful composition because it would be forever competing with Scharoun-like volumes. No contentiousness, no competition, no one-upmanship, yet no obsequiousness either, but rather a self-contained and self-evident shape and an architecture that is less about the architect as author and the contemporary moment and more about people and their encounter with art.


Matthäuskirche looks a little lost and uprooted today. We are building a neighborhood for it, like the buildings that used to line the street until they were destroyed. And we are interested in the material of the church—brick. It is a building material that can be interpreted as a digital field and yet, at the same time, there is something archaic about a brick wall.


A house as a built form has always existed and yet it eludes clear-cut fixation or programmatic classification. It is an open-ended shape, open to different uses and interpretations. Like the above-mentioned brick, the archaic shape of a house is a constituent of both contemporary digital culture and traditional civilizations of old.


The house for art of the 20th century looks very different from different sides. Is it a warehouse? A barn? Or maybe a railroad station? Isn’t it more like a temple with exactly the same gable proportions as the Alte Nationalgalerie by August Stüler? Whatever the case, it is a place to store things as in a warehouse, a place for provisions and supplies like a farm, and a place of encounter and connection like a railroad station. And—like a temple—it is also a place of quiet and contemplation for the perception not just of art but of oneself.

Herzog & de Meuron, 2016


Herzog & de Meuron Team:

Partners: Jacques Herzog, Pierre de Meuron, Ascan Mergenthaler (Partner in Charge)

Project Team: Alexa Nürnberger (Associate, Project Director), Christoph Röttinger (Associate, Project Director), Martin Knüsel (Associate, Project Architect), Jan-Christoph Lindert (Associate, Project Director), Nicholas Lyons (Associate, Project Architect)

Farhad Ahmad, Tobias Amme, Anna Bijak, Jonathan Caron, Maria Christou, Simon Davis, Alexandre Gonin, Amelie Hummel, Hamit Kaplan, Jonas Käckenmester, Carla Krehl, Camille Lanier, Ramy Maher, Lukas Manz, Daniel Garcia Moreno, Bodo Neuss, Jorge Ribeiro Picas de Carvalho, Boris Rieger, Ria Roberg, Raoul Rouff, Vera Schmidt, Nadine Stecklina, Christian Uhl, Allison Weiler, Dorian Zank, Kai Zang, Marco Zürn

Competition: Jacques Herzog, Pierre de Meuron, Christine Binswanger, Ascan Mergenthaler

Iva Smrke Kröger (Associate, Project Director), Roman Aebi (Workshop), Michal Baurycza (Visualizations), Paul Feeney, Fabiola Guzman-Rivera, Raoul Rouff, Günter Schwob (Workshop), Laura Stargala



Boris Schade-Bünsow, Kaye Geipel, Jacques Herzog: Mies, Scharoun, Herzog & de Meuron.
In: Boris Schade-Bünsow (Ed.). Bauwelt. Das Land, die Zukunft. Vol. No. 8, Berlin, Bauverlag BV GmbH, 14.04.2020. pp. 10-13.


Jacques Herzog, Udo Kittelmann, Swantje Karich: Auf dem Weg in die Gegenwart. Jacques Herzog und Udo Kittelmann wollen in Berlin eine neue Art des Museums erfinden. Das teure Projekt hat viele Feinde. Zum ersten Mal stellen sich Architekt und Museumskurator der Kritik.
In: Johannes Boie (Ed.). Welt am Sonntag. Vol. No. 45, Berlin, Axel Springer AG, 10.11.2019. p. 55.


Herzog & de Meuron.
In: Luis Fernández-Galiano (Ed.). Arquitectura Viva Proyectos. Vol. No. 089, Madrid, Arquitectura Viva SL, 2018. pp. 6-7.