We’re on the fifth day of our European architectural tour, and the highlight was visiting Neue Nationalgalerie, featuring an exhibition of Gerhard Richter’s works. We also visited the Lemke House. Here’s a snapshot tour…
Above: Those charged with restoring Neue Nationalegalerie are trying to figure out a way to make the outdoor garden accessible and integrated, as Mies intended.
Above: The team is tackling issues beyond steel and glass; they are considering where to put the bookstore that has migrated (through the years) to a destination beneath the staircase.
Above: Here’s Mies at the groundbreaking of the museum.
Above: The restoration team is challenged when it comes to finding glass panes large enough that also meet new double-pane and ultraviolet light codes. Notice the current replacement is multiple sheets seamed together.
Above: Visitors gather outside Neue Nationalgalerie and learn details about the forthcoming restoration from Arne Maibohm, an architect and member of the planning team.
This is the view of the site Mies would have had from his apartment. He sited this according to the old existing church.
Note the six-foot trusses and one of only eight columns supporting the roof.
Above: A guest’s snazzy shirt matches our visits today to the Richter color studies and the Klee paintings at the Bauhaus Archives.
Above: The Lemke House has been converted to a contemporary art gallery. The director characterized this modest house as “small Mies” and his final house built in Europe.
The goal of the structure is to draw people to nature, moving through the minimal internal space to the extensive garden and lake. The house was eventually used as a cafeteria for staff serving the head of the Stasi who lived on weekends in a house next door.
In the 1970s a family lived here and added a window in the bedroom; you can see where the restoration team replaced the brick.
Above: We had a fabulous lunch of currywurst and fries, a Berlin specialty.
Above: Here is a piece from the show of Gerhard Richter’s work. It is four panes of glass in steel frames and is very Miesian. It is also interesting because Richter says he is showing both what is limitless and the limitations on what can be depicted.
That reminded us of what Mies tried to achieve in providing a spare structure to frame a space or make many things possible. The limits in both this work and that of Mies’ portray immediate boundaries and reveal ephemeral uses of space.
Above: Grids, grids, everywhere! Here is the outdoor plaza.
Above: And here is the interior floor.
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