The construction of the new entrance building, the James-Simon-Galerie, will result in two new open spaces: an upper terrace accessible over the large outside staircase on the side facing the Kupfergraben, and the New Courtyard. Located between the James-Simon-Galerie and the Neues Museum, the New Courtyard will be a place of arrival and orientation for visitors. The long open space is enclosed by a colonnade hallway. In doing so, David Chipperfield Architects are creating an extension of Stüler’s colonnades, using a modern design vocabulary. The space offers ground-level access to the James-Simon-Galerie and the Neues Museum. Visitors will also be able to walk from there to the Court of Honor and the Colonnade Courtyard.
Visitors entering the New Courtyard from the direction of Bodestrasse reach an elongated area from which they can access the James-Simon-Galerie and the Neues Museum. Additionally, the entire Museum Island can be explored via the colonnade passage in the north. From there visitors will be able to reach the passages to the Kupfergraben and the Court of Honor as well as the square behind the Pergamonmuseum. At the same time, the New Courtyard will be a place for lingering: visitors can either rest on shady benches beneath the colonnades or do some relaxed sunbathing next to the fountain table at the northern end of the courtyard.
The elevated terrace on the west side of the James-Simon-Galerie will be accessible to visitors at any time of the day or night. It can be reached via the large outside staircase leading up to the building. A passage from the New Courtyard to the Kupfergraben leads to another flight of stairs over which the terrace can be accessed. From the terrace, visitors will have a great view towards the south all the way to the Humboldt-Forum.
A bird’s eye view gives the best impression of how the New Courtyard will be integrated into the ensemble of museums. In the future, visitors coming from Bodestrasse will cross the colonnades of the James-Simon-Galerie to reach the courtyard. The colonnades are architecturally connected to Stüler’s colonnaded hallway at the Neues Museum. On the north side of the courtyard, the new colonnades mark the passage to the open space between the Pergamonmuseum and the Neues Museum.