Project type: Exhibition Design
Location: Schlossplatz, Berlin, Germany
Here Today – Gone Tomorrow
A place where Germany was still disunited. A place that divided the German mind, where ideologies stiffened and the Republic’s anima was impenetrable. Emotionally charged places like this live today, but breathe the identities of yesterday. The Royal Palace here was destroyed in 1962 and in its place, the socialist government of Eastern Germany built the Palace of the Republic which was, in turn, demolished in 2005. Until the city of Berlin reached a consensus on what to build in its place and how to finance it, a void existed in the heart of the capitol of Germany.
To fill this void, GRAFT proposed an art haven in the form of a Kunsthall for the young and vital international art scene in Berlin, something that does not currently exist and is desperately needed within this vibrant city. The design of the Kunsthall was envisioned as an Art Cloud, a temporary light structure of exhibition space, seemingly floating and resting for a moment above the topography of soft mounds. This structure would not be superimposed upon the previous historic site, but rather would fill the transition from “what was” to “what will be”. This soft and ephemeral shape dwelled in an urban setting that used to be dominated by massive and almost brutal urban volumes. This cloud was a new pivotal point for the Museums Island, negotiating the inflexible rules for the city block, the existing height conditions and the pre-existing notions of nostalgia with its soft, swinging silhouette. The history of human endeavor is transcended in a fluid design that defied the constraints of time and refuses to linger.