New National Gallery in Berlin

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Mies accepted a commission in his native Germany in 1962-68. He designed the building of the New National Gallery on a plot of land in close proximity to his former Berlin office (Am Karslbad street 24, today demolished). The Museum for Contemporary Art in this new district, not far from the demolished  Potsdam square and the Berlin Wall, was designed as a square pavilion with glazed walls without internal supports. The huge roof was composed of enormous steel box beams composed into one coffered plate. The roof was welded on the ground and lifted up during one day with the help of hydraulic jacks. Mies had himself driven under the ascending roof in a white Mercedes during the event. The building is most impressive when it is completely empty or when large sculptures are exhibited inside. Mies' approach to the space also served as a symbolic conclusion to the forty year path between the exhibition pavilions in Barcelona and in Berlin.


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