James-Simon-Galerie Wins the ArchitekturPreis Berlin in 2020


The Museumsinsel Berlin’s central entrance building designed by David Chipperfield Architects has received the ArchitekturPreis Berlin 2020. This is the third award this year for the James-Simon-Galerie, following its recognition with the DAM Preis für Architektur 2020 and the Architekturpreis Beton 2020.

The ArchitekturPreis Berlin

This marks the eleventh time that the ArchitekturPreis Berlin has been presented by the non-profit organisation of the same name. It has been awarded under the patronage of the Senator for Urban Development and Housing since 1992. The winners were announced recently, with the award ceremony expected to take place in 2021. The competition was open to architects who had completed a building in the federal state of Berlin between January 2016 and April 2020. A total of 153 submitted works met the requirements to be considered for the award. The three winners of the ArchitekturPreis Berlin in 2020, among them David Chipperfield Architects Berlin, will receive equal shares of the prize money of 10,000 euros sponsored by the Fachgemeinschaft Bau Berlin und Brandenburg e.V.

The interdisciplinary jury included Hetty Berg, museum director (Jüdisches Museum Berlin), Jason Bruges, designer (Jason Bruges Studio, London), Kevin Carmody, architect (Carmody Groarke, London), Almut Grüntuch-Ernst (Grüntuch Ernst Architects, Berlin), and Johann König, gallery owner (KÖNIG GALERIE, Berlin).

The James-Simon-Galerie

The James-Simon-Galerie has been open to the public since July 2019. 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 coat check facilities, along with a shop, café and restaurant, the James-Simon-Galerie guides visitors directly into the displays at the Pergamonmuseum and via the Archaeological Promenade into the Neues Museum.

With its large and inviting entrance staircase and colonnades, it fits well into its surroundings shaped by Schinkel, Stüler, Messel and Ihne, and yet its architectural language remains undeniably contemporary. The building is named after James Simon (1851–1932), an outstanding patron of the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin.