The topping-out ceremony for the James-Simon-Galerie is to be held on 13 April 2016.
In the near future, the James-Simon-Galerie will serve as the central visitor centre for the Museum Island, taking over crucial service functions for the individual museums, with a central ticket desk, cloakroom, cafe, and gift shop. It is from this point that visitors will later have direct access to four of the five museums on the island, via an interconnecting subterranean walkway, called the Archaeological Promenade. Visitors heading to the Pergamonmuseum, for example, will embark on a route entitled 'Ancient Architectures’, whose entrance will be located immediately above the entrance level in the James-Simon-Galerie.
The new building is an essential component in the 'Masterplan Museumsinsel’, which was agreed to in 1999 as a means of preserving the UNESCO World Heritage Site that is the Museum Island, while simultaneously equipping it with the amenities required of a modern museum complex. Designed by David Chipperfield Architects, who were also responsible for the successful reconstruction and refurbishment of the Neues Museum, the James-Simon-Galerie is proudly named after one of the most important patrons in the history of the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin: the Jewish businessman and philanthropist James Simon.