The James-Simon-Galerie Is Finally Open

13.07.2019The James-Simon-Galerie Is Finally Open

Berlin has a new candidate for the title “City’s Favorite Staircase:” the James-Simon-Galerie. Museumsinsel Berlin’s new reception building was officially opened on July 12 with Chancellor Merkel in attendance, along with descendants of the great patron of the arts. The next day, 27,000 people took advantage of a day-long open house to view the building designed by David Chipperfield.

Drone flight through the James-Simon-Galerie

The James-Simon-Galerie opened its doors on July 13, 2019 to Museumsinsel (Museum Island) visitors. Before the new reception building on Museumsinsel became crowded with visitors, we flew a drone through the building.

Museumsinsel Berlin (Museum Island Berlin) is now complete. The reception building was opened with an official ceremony attended by Chancellor Angela Merkel, Minister of State for Culture Monika Grütters, Mayor of Berlin Michael Müller and many descendants of James Simon. The third element of the Chipperfield triad (Neues Museum – James-Simon-Galerie – Haus Bastian) plays an important role in the completed Museumsinsel Berlin ensemble of buildings.

Referring to the new building, Hermann Parzinger, president of the Stiftung Preussischer Kulturbesitz (Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation, SPK), stated: “The James-Simon-Galerie is more than just a gateway to Berlin’s Museumsinsel, much more than an urgently required service building. David Chipperfield’s building is a modern capstone, an architectural antithesis to the five historic buildings. Chipperfield has led the site into the 21st century and has thrown down the gauntlet. The James-Simon-Galerie will be a place where magnificent collections can be viewed in a new context and challenged in terms of today’s intellectual and aesthetic issues as well.”

David Chipperfield, Michael Müller, Ann and Timothy M. Simon, Chancellor Angela Merkel, Hermann Parzinger, Monika Grütters, and Michael Eissenhauer
David Chipperfield, Michael Müller, Ann and Timothy M. Simon, Chancellor Angela Merkel, Hermann Parzinger, Monika Grütters, and Michael Eissenhauer at the official opening of the James-Simon-Galerie on July 12, 2019. © Staatliche Museen zu Berlin / David von Becker

In her speech, Chancellor Merkel emphasized the significance of Museumsinsel as a world heritage site: “Museumsinsel is not just a place where we learn about cultures and historical events. We can also become conscious there of the mutual dependencies in today’s world. Its significance for our coexistence cannot be valued highly enough. After all, it is tempting yet fatal to close your eyes to the complexities of global interdependency and instead, create your own manageable worldview.”

Museumsinsel Berlin’s central reception building, which was designed by David Chipperfield Architects, offers service and orientation in a quality environment on an area of 10,900 square meters. With a special exhibition area and auditorium, expansive ticket, information, and checkroom areas, and a shop, café, and restaurant, the James-Simon-Galerie leads directly to the walking tour of the Pergamonmuseum (Pergamon Museum) and to the Neue Museum via the Archeological Promenade. It is named after James Simon (1851–1932), who was a great patron of the arts in Berlin.

The James-Simon-Galerie opened its doors to the public on July 13 for an opening day event – 27,000 visitors responded to the invitation.

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