New Construction and General Restoration of the Building on Unter den Linden

The original building for the Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin, which was severely damaged during the Second World War, is being thoroughly renovated and supplemented with new buildings. The general reading room and the rare books reading room opened in 2013. Currently, the southern part of the building is being restored.

Skeleton of the dome

The topping-out ceremony for the reconstruction of the dome over the main portal in July 2013 was also the public opening of the beginning of the second phase of construction. © BBR / Florian Profitlich

General Restoration according to Plans by HG Merz

The building, which was constructed from 1903 to 1914 based on plans by Ernst von Ihne, was severely damaged by bombing during the Second World War. Under the German Democratic Republic, the most urgent problems of space and storage were addressed, but the building was not thoroughly restored. After German reunification, the Stiftung Preussischer Kulturbesitz (Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation) decided to refurbish the building as a contemporary library. That required extensive building and restoring measures. They have been based on plans by the architectural firm HG Merz, which won the international competition in 1999–2000.

The building services and security and fire prevention systems of the old building are being updated to meet contemporary requirements. HG Merz designed a glass cube for the central new building to house the new general reading room. The building has been and will be taken place with the library open.

The New Buildings Are Completed

An essential part of the planning for the Staatsbibliothek’s building on Unter den Linden was supplementing it with new buildings. These included a new general reading room, a rare books reading room, a new users’ center, and a digitization center. Since March 2013 all of these new buildings are in operation. This first construction phase also included the building of the storage facility and the restoration of the northern part of the old building.

Ongoing Restoration in the Southern Part of the Building

Since 2012, the renovation of the southern half of the building complex has been underway as part of the second construction phase. Among other things, it has involved restoring the central access corridor and the dome above the main entrance to the building. In addition, five special reading rooms have been refurbished and a library museum constructed. Once all of its parts are finished, the building will have around 650 user workspaces. Construction work is scheduled to be completed in 2019.