The opening of the Archäologisches Zentrum in fall 2012 marked the completion of another step towards the realization of the Museum Island Master Plan. On the site of the former Friedrich-Engels-Kaserne in the immediate vicinity of the Museum Island, a building has been constructed that accommodates internal functions of the museums, thus creating more space for exhibitions on the island.
The building, which is based on plans by harris + kurrle architekten, houses the Central Archive of the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin (National Museums in Berlin) and an archaeological library. In addition, it accommodates storerooms, workshops, and the administrative units of the archaeological collections. Being a centrally located site for scholarship and research, the Archäologisches Zentrum is an asset to the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin – Preussischer Kulturbesitz (National Museums in Berlin – Prussian Cultural Heritage). Since 2014, the offices of the Berliner Antike-Kolleg have been located there as well.