Form versus Function: Mies and the Museum
Colloquium on the refurbishment of the Neue Nationalgalerie

November 27, 2014, 5pm–9pm
November 28, 2014, 10am

“Clearing” in the glass hall of the Neue Nationalgalerie

Free admission. Registration is not required.

The Neue Nationalgalerie with its open universal space is the last building Mies van der Rohe planned independently and is therefore regarded as his great legacy. The building’s imminent refurbishment once again sharpens the focus on the logic of the building, on the relationship between form and function. Since the opening in 1968 the museum has continuously been used to showcase the 20th century art collection of the Nationalgalerie as well as special exhibitions. At the same time the building has long been a world famous classic of modernism for its clarity and rigor. The colloquium “Form versus Function: Mies and the Museum” brings together architects, artists, academics, curators, and architectural conservators to address the building’s dual role as important monument and outstanding museum. Alongside a presentation of the planned refurbishment by British architect David Chipperfield, Mies van der Rohe’s grandson and former project manager Dirk Lohan will talk about the planning and construction process of the Neue Nationalgalerie in the 1960s. Other lectures deal with a reflection on specific aesthetic and museum conditions of the exhibition building inter alia from a cultural studies perspective by Beatriz Colomina.

Neue Nationalgalerie, interior view | photo: David von Becker

In cooperation with:





November 27, 2014, 5pm–9pm

Mies and the Museum

Welcoming Speeches
Hermann Parzinger (Stiftung Preußischer Kulturbesitz)
Regula Lüscher (Senatsverwaltung für Stadtentwicklung und Umwelt, Berlin)

Fritz Neumeyer (TU Berlin)
Mies van der Rohes Nationalgalerie in Berlin: Ein architektonisches Vermächtnis
Lecture in German

Beatriz Colomina (Princeton University und Berthold Leibinger Fellow, American Academy in Berlin)
Exhibitionist Architecture
Lecture in English


David Chipperfield (Architect, London)
Mission Statement
Lecture in English

Form versus Function
Panel Discussion with
David Chipperfield (Architect, London)
Nikolaus Hirsch (Architect, Frankfurt a. M.)
Udo Kittelmann (Nationalgalerie, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin)
Willem de Rooij (Artist, Berlin)
In German and English


Moderation: Lothar Fehn Krestas (Bundesamt für Bauwesen und Raumordnung)

November 28, 2014, 10am–5pm

Fundamental Questions of the Building

Welcoming Speeches
Christina Haak (Staatliche Museen zu Berlin)
Jörg Haspel (Landesdenkmalamt Berlin)

Dirk Lohan (Lohan Anderson, Chicago)
Die Entstehungsgeschichte der Neuen Nationalgalerie
Lecture in German


Gunny Harboe (Harboe Architects, Chicago)
Restoring Mies: Experiences from the Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago
Lecture in English

Wolf Tegethoff (Zentralinstitut für Kunstgeschichte, München)
"Museum for a Small City" – Ein neues Museumskonzept von Mies van der Rohe
Lecture in German


Joachim Jäger (Neue Nationalgalerie)
Leben mit Mies. Gebrauchsanweisung für einen Tempel
Lecture in German

Alexander Schwarz (David Chipperfield Architects)
Konzeptionelle Fragen zur Grundinstandsetzung der Neuen Nationalgalerie
Lecture in German

David Chipperfield Architects
Konservierung, Adaption, Modifikation: 5 Fallbeispiele Neue Nationalgalerie
Lecture in German

Questions and Break

Kerstin Wittmann-Englert (TU Berlin und Landesdenkmalrat Berlin)
Zum Umgang mit Ikonen des 20. Jahrhunderts
Lecture in German


Moderation: Claudia Perren (Stiftung Bauhaus Dessau)