The newly constructed Archäologisches Zentrum is situated in the direct vicinity of the Museumsinsel Berlin. It unites all archaeological facilities and operations at the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin – Preussischer Kulturbesitz under one roof for the first time.
Five archaeological collections of international renown use the Archäologisches Zentrum (which opened in 2012) as an interdisciplinary platform for their staff, for their research, and scientific work, and for their laboratories and research instruments. The five collections are: the Ägyptisches Museum und Papyrussammlung, the Antikensammlung, the Museum für Islamische Kunst, the Museum für Vor- und Frühgeschichte and the Vorderasiatisches Museum. In addition to these collections, the Archäologisches Zentrum also houses the Zentralarchiv, the Staatliche Museen’s central archive division, and the Archaeological Library, run by the Kunstbibliothek.
Stuttgart-based architects Harris + Kurrle have designed a building that creates the optimal conditions in which to carry out research, documentation, conservation care, and restoration. Study and reading rooms have been conceived in such a way that users can work with text sources and artefacts at the same time. This is just one of the reasons why the Archäologisches Zentrum acts as a magnet for specialists from both within Germany and abroad, for students and the next generation of scholars and scientists. Its transparent and open style of architecture creates spaces for the spontaneous interaction between scholars of various disciplines, facilitating the sharing of ideas and experiences, as well as creating room for researchers to develop joint project ideas.
The construction of the Archäologisches Zentrum means that the Staatliche Museen is one step closer to completing the Masterplan Museumsinsel. The plan not only envisages the extensive renovation of the historical buildings on the Museumsinsel Berlin, their structural and thematic connectedness (with the creation of an interlinking walkway at lower-ground level), and the construction of a single central entrance building, it also foresees the erection of new buildings to house administrative departments, storerooms, and conservation studios, which take up limited space on the island itself.