James-Simon-Galerie Awarded the 2020 DAM Prize


Designed by David Chipperfield Architects, the Museumsinsel’s central entrance building has won the annual DAM Prize for Architecture, awarded by the Deutsches Architekturmuseum.

Hermann Parzinger, President of the Stiftung Preussischer Kulturbesitz, underscored the achievement, saying: “This important prize and the overwhelming response of the public has confirmed to us that we are on the right path with our implementation of the Museumsinsel Masterplan, and that the development of the UNESCO World Heritage Site into a contemporary museum complex is worth all the effort. With the brilliant design by David Chipperfield Architects, we have created the fitting keystone that completes this historical ensemble of buildings.”

The James-Simon-Galerie

The James-Simon-Galerie has been open to the public since July 2019, and has already received some 1.1 million visitors. Constructed on the only undeveloped plot left on the island, the building functions as the entrance point to the Museumsinsel, providing central service functions for the entire network of museums. In addition to a special exhibition space and auditorium, spacious ticket, information and cloak-room facilities, along with a shop, café and restaurant, the James-Simon-Galerie guides visitors directly into the display of the Pergamonmuseum, and via the Archaeological Promenade, into the Neues Museum. With its large, accommodating entrance staircase and colonnades, it fits perfectly into its environment, shaped by the architectural visions of Schinkel, Stüler, Messel and Ihne, and yet its architectural language remains undeniably contemporary. The building is named after the great patron of the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, James Simon (1852–1932).     

Neues Museum: 2010 DAM Prize

David Chipperfield Architects had already received the 2010 DAM Prize for their concept for reconstructing the neighbouring Neues Museum, which had been partially destroyed during the Second World War. The Neues Museum presents world-famous treasures of art and culture, such as the Bust of Nefertiti, and is one of Berlin’s biggest drawcards.