TU Berlin

Chair for Modern Art HistoryMuseumsvisionen

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  • Prof. Dr. Bénédicte Savoy
  • Dr. Hans-Dieter Nägelke
  • Nikolaus Bernau

Assisted by:

  • Moritz Dapper
  • Mei-Hau Kunzi
  • Merten Lagatz

phone: 030/314-24307
E-Mail: museumsvisionen[at]yahoo.de


Musterraum der Bauakademie 
Schinkelplatz 1, 10117 Berlin 


17. September – 11. October 2015

Funded by:


About the project


The five houses of the Berlin Museum Island are among the most important cultural buildings in the world. The ensemble, consisting of Altes and Neues Museum, Alte Nationalgalerie, Bode- and Pergamonmuseum, was declared a World Heritage Site by the UNESCO in 1999. The struggle for a masterplan has been accompanying the museums since 1797. 

The situation had been especially favourable after the foundation of the German Empire in 1871. Money and political will congregated to place Berlin, in ways of culture, architecture and urban planning, in line with Paris, London or St. Petersburg. The Museum Island should have taken a signature role in the aspiring capital. This claim is reflected in the competition of 1883 for the all-embracive expansion of the island - it was one of the biggest architectural design competition of its time. 

The exhibition tells us about this forgotten contest against the backdrop of museum politics of the German Empire. In 1876 the results of the excavations in Olympia reached Berlin, since 1878 the friezes of the Pergamonaltar. The cast collection was expanded systematically, the expansion of the Gemäldegalerie and the collection of sculptures were unmatched. 54 architect's offices took part in this challenging competition. For the first time the designs for the "Conkurrenz etc." are completely documented. Amongst them are spectacular visions for museums, in which the heyday of the Berlin collections are represented as well as the culture of design and planning between Gründerzeit and modernity. 

Exhibition and catalogue have been developed in a project seminar of the department of modern art of the Technical University Berlin. The architecture of the exhibition has been developed by students of the degree course Bühnenbild_Szenischer Raum. 

Exhibition Catalogue


Museumsvisionen. Der Wettbewerb zur Erweiterung der Berliner Museumsinsel 1883/84

hrsg. von: Nikolaus Bernau, Hans-Dieter Nägelke und Bénédicte Savoy

Verlag Ludwig

2015, 400 S.
36 S/W- und 261 Farbabbildungen


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