Foundation Stone Laid for berlin modern at the Kulturforum


On 9 February 2024, the foundation stone for berlin modern at the Kulturforum was laid in a ceremony attended by Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media Claudia Roth and Governing Mayor of Berlin Kai Wegener. This marks an important step on the way to the building’s completion, which is planned for 2027.

Following the filling of the time capsule and blessings for the building, the foundation stone was lowered into the approximately 16-metre-deep construction pit with help of a crane. The ceremony in the Neue Nationalgalerie was also attended by artist Lucy Raven, whose installation Ready Mix (2021) will raise pertinent questions in the next few weeks about the durability, sustainability and autonomy of architecture as a modern form of visual culture and about its function. The actual act of laying the foundation stone at the construction site was accompanied by a live performance of drummer Deantoni Parks, who composed the music for Raven’s immersive film installation.

More Space for Art at berlin modern

In future, the new building and the neighbouring Neue Nationalgalerie will show the Nationalgalerie collection’s extensive art holdings from the 20th century (around 5,000 works), which previously could only be exhibited in excerpts because of a lack of space. In addition, works will be shown from the Ulla & Heiner Pietzsch Collection (approx. 160 works), the Marx Collection (nearly 200 works) and the Marzona Collection (some 300 works), as well as from the Kunstbibliothek (Art Library) and the Kupferstichkabinett (Museum of Prints and Drawings).

Marina Abramović, Otto Dix, Joseph Beuys, Isa Genzken, Lotte Laserstein, Wolfgang Mattheuer, Gerhard Richter, Cindy Sherman and Andy Warhol are among the renowned 20th-century artists represented with major works in the Neue Nationalgalerie collection. For reasons of space, however, only small portions of the collection can currently be shown at any one time. Consequently, the entire collection of classical modern art is presently in storage. Many works of post-1945 art have also been in the depository for years, in particular large installations by, for example, Rebecca Horn and Anselm Kiefer.

Around 9,000 square metres of exhibition space will then supplement the Neue Nationalgalerie’s existing 6,000 square metres. In future, a tour of both buildings will allow visitors to explore the art and, therefore, also the history of the 20th century in its various stages and forms. In addition to painting, sculpture, photography and performance, a visit to both buildings will also provide insights into the history of architecture, design and film. The museum at the Kulturforum Berlin was designed by Herzog & de Meuron architects in partnership with Vogt landscape architects, who jointly won the 2016 realisation competition.

Sustainable Development of the Kulturforum

The plantings around building will provide shade and ensure an improved microclimate. Overall, berlin modern will make the Kulturforum a much more liveable place. The ecological sustainability of the building has been optimised, with the large photovoltaic system on the room being the most visible sign of this. As a result, the museum’s primary energy needs are significantly lower than required by current regulatory standards. The use of recycled materials for the concrete, façade bricks and outdoor area surfacing also contribute to the building’s favourable CO2 balance.