Neue Nationalgalerie, Berlin

Kulturforum Berlin-Tiergarten / Potsdamer Straße 50
10785 Berlin

plan route show map

artist / participant

press release

Sticks and Stones is a prologue to the renovation of Neue Nationalgalerie, which will be carried out by David Chipperfield Architects beginning in 2015. For three months from October to December, 2014, the British architect David Chipperfield (born in 1953) will transform the universal space of the upper glass hall into a hall of columns consisting of 144 tree trunks. From the English children’s rhyme Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me, Chipperfield borrows the first words to refer to the basic elements of Mies van der Rohe’s building and of architecture in general: sticks and stones.

Fifty years after its completion, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe’s (1886–1969) building continues to impress with its modern stringency, shaped primarily by its special roof construction. The steel roof, which seems suspended in air, is borne by eight steel columns on the outside, thus allowing for a column-free interior space of 2,500 square meters. With barked spruce trunks that in a dense grid stretch the eight meters from the granite flooring to the steel roof structure, David Chipperfield directs attention to the basic themes of architecture in general.

Between nature and architecture, a field stretches that embraces the long cultural history of the column. Against the backdrop of the immanent restoration of Neue Nationalgalerie, the forest of columns also pays homage to the great predecessor Mies van der Rohe and serves as a metaphor for a temporary construction site.

The visitors to this accessible installation are offered a spatial experience with a strongly evocative power. At the center of the forest of columns is a meadow, 200 square meters in size, where architectural, interdisciplinary shows will take place.

The Institut für Raumexperimente of the Universität der Künste Berlin under the direction of Ólafur Elíasson will be holding the Festival of Future Nows from October 30 - November 1st with numerous artistic contributions inside the exhibition and outside the Neue Nationalgalerie.

Prof. Dr. Michael Eissenhauer, General Director of the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Udo Kittelmann, Director of the Nationalgalerie, Gabriele Quandt, chairwoman of the Verein der Freunde der Nationalgalerie, and David Chipperfield are pleased to inform you about the exhibition.