Museum Island Overviewof the Open Spaces
Colonnade Courtyard Pergamonmuseum Spree Side New Courtyard The Pergamonmuseum’s Court of Honor Small Curiosities and Illuminated Spaces

Overview of the Open Spaces

Enjoying the Museum Island in the Open

The vision of Friedrich Wilhelm IV for a “sanctuary for art and science” is picked up by the Master Plan, which includes a concept for redesigning the open spaces. In the future, large courtyards and new walkways will allow visitors to enjoy impressions of the Museum Island at any time of the day or night. As soon as the open space concept is realized, all areas surrounding the museum buildings will be connected to each other.

Overview of the open spaces on the Museums Island
© SPK / ART+COM, 2015

Opened at any Time of the Day or Night

The Colonnade Courtyard in front of the Neues Museum was designed by Stüler and presents itself in Arcadian style. It is surrounded by a colonnaded hallway. David Chipperfield Architects will extend the hallway to Bodestrasse, using a modern architectural design vocabulary. That way, the New Courtyard will emerge between the Neues Museum and the James-Simon-Galerie.

In the future, visitors will be able to reach various places on the island via the passage between the Pergamonmuseum and the Neues Museum: if they turn to the left, they can cross the south wing of the Pergamonmuseum and reach the Court of Honor. If they continue to stroll straight down the passage, they once again catch sight of the historical 

Colonnade Courtyard on the right, and the newly designed open space on the Spree side of the Pergamonmuseum on the left.

The area around the railroad viaduct will be open to visitors as well. That stretch between the Bode-Museum and the Pergamonmuseum will end at the so-called Small Curiosities from where visitors can look over the Kupfergraben. Visitors will be able to reach another place at the waterside via a passage between the Pergamonmuseum and the James-Simon-Galerie: the terrace connected to the James-Simon-Galerie will be accessible even outside the opening hours.

View from the New Courtyard towards the Pergamonmuseum, with the James-Simon-Galerie to the left and the Neues Museum to the right (visualization)
© SPK / ART+COM, 2015

Character of the Open Spaces

The sand-colored natural stone which is a distinctive feature of the buildings on the Museum Island will be used for designing the open spaces as well. In terms of decoration and plants, the spaces will relate both to each other and to the urban environment surrounding the island. The result will be a harmonious overall ensemble. Each of the open spaces will develop a very individual character due to the interplay with its environment. On the western side of the island, the museum buildings tower above the Kupfergraben. Stone and water will be used as design elements for these spaces, lending them a distinct character. On the eastern side, the museum buildings recede from the Spree. The resulting spaces are more open and will relate to the James-Simon-Park located on the opposite side.

Colonnade Courtyard, with the Neues Museum and the Altes Museum in the background (visualization)
© SPK / ART+COM, 2012

Realization by the Landscape Architects Levin Monsigny

On the basis of the Museum Island Master Plan, tenders for a competition entitled “In-between Spaces – Design of the Open Spaces on the Museum Island” were invited. In February 2001, the office of Levin Monsigny Landschaftsarchitekten emerged as the winner from the competition. Levin Monsigny’s open spaces concept is now being realized step by step. Each of the spaces is created simultaneously with the renovation and extension of the respective museum building. In a first step, the Colonnade Courtyard was magnificently reopened in 2010. The Court of Honor of the Pergamonmuseum is not included in the concept developed by Levin Monsigny. However, it will be directly connected to the other open spaces in the future.