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Old September 13th, 2016, 03:16 AM   #2021
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Old September 13th, 2016, 07:12 AM   #2022
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Any future reversal of what the space is currently purposed for will depend heavily on the success of the Humboldt Forum. If the museums and multi purpose spaces generate only low or moderate utilization, there could be a welcomed discussion to restore some of the original interiors to boost interest/usage. But if the current interior intent is a roaring success, it will likely be impossible to convince the city and donors to make any changes. So, while I don't like being negative or wishing ill, I hope the Humboldt Forum finds it necessary to rethink the interior space.
I was actually thinking the opposite. With more success, perhaps more resources to respond to requests for changes?
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Old September 13th, 2016, 05:24 PM   #2023
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^ Yep, that's the way to go. The building is a success story already, so there's no doubt we'll see interior reconstructions sooner than later. It was the same with Dresden's Royal Palace.
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Old September 13th, 2016, 07:08 PM   #2024
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I have never understood the strange fascination with grafting a modern wing or side onto a building in the style of of another era. This is obviously what they have done here in Berlin. Why they couldn't just continue the design of the south side on around to the east side baffles me.

Here, where I live in America, we have the state supreme court building that was designed in the modernist international style in the 1960s to which they have attached a neoclassicial addition complete with Doric columns and a pediment. The local joke is that it looks like starship Enterprise docked at Versailles.
I think that it's an effort to create the impression of a timeline or to make at least one small part of the exterior of the building an authentic, contemporary expression. To casual visitors it will appear as though a 21st century extension has been built on the side of a much older building. Although that is a false timeline which will make the whole building somewhat deceptive, it does plug the building firmly into the decade in which it was built - this decade.

Usually, a modern extension is attached to an older building - this is standard, honest practice. Sometimes a new extension is built in the style of the older building - this could be seen as less authentic but still OK. But grafting a historic style extension onto a modernist building is just plain wrong - it's totally deceptive and leaves a building telling a false story.

I prefer it when buildings that make up a city are honest and you can tell when theyre built by looking at the style.
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Old September 13th, 2016, 07:32 PM   #2025
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Classical architecture has always been built since it spread over the western world. And it always will be. Because it pretty much always works, when it's done right (depending on context). So there's nothing dishonest about creating a New Classical building in 2016. It's part of our millennia old culture.
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Old September 13th, 2016, 08:19 PM   #2026
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Besides, I don't think we can consider the Stadtschloss to be a New Classical building, it's a Baroque building (re)constructed in the 21st century. To me, it's all about the design and the idea of the original architect, not the materials and techniques used to build it. Also, Franco Stella is the architect of the modern parts, not the Baroque ones, as he is not the one who designed them in the first place.

Remember, it's always the same building, nevermind how many times it was reconstructed...
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Old September 13th, 2016, 10:35 PM   #2027
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Comparisons with other pastiche reconstructions to long for rebuilding of internal rooms is misguided.

Contrary to that stuff in Dresden, the use of the Humboldt Forum, at least the main use, is going to be host of one of the most important ethnographic museums in the World. Surely a top-3 in its field.

As with other museums that are not bundled with their buildings (which is obviously the case of a worldwide ethnographic collection!), proper display requires plenty of blank walls, rooms that can be reconfigured to change periodical, rotating or external exhibitions, and have little distractions to the highlights of the place - the ethnographic collection.

Therefore, putting a bunch of ornate stuff with tapestry or other finishing would be highly detrimental to the intended use of the space. This is different than a situation where the contents of the museum were closely related to place.

I think this idea of reconstructing the internal rooms and chipping away exhibition space is highly unrealistic, having a better space arrangement than the Dhalem stitch of buildings was one of the main purposes of relocating the museum to being with.

So if you want to see more rooms reconstructed, you should have wished the museum did not get slated for relocation. Which would then require dozens of millions of Euro to fix up the older parts of the Dahlem site.
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Old September 13th, 2016, 10:48 PM   #2028
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Comparisons with other pastiche reconstructions to long for rebuilding of internal rooms is misguided.
I won't respond to your argument about practical space for etnographic museums as I don't know what kind of space they need, but I will respond to you about "pastiche reconstructions".

You bring out this argument over and over again, this is, like, the third or fourth time since I became a "member" of this community. Pastiche is that stuff being built in Skopje. Berlin's palace or Dresden's palace are not pastiches as they don't imitate the original buildings, they will look 100% like the originals. Imitation and reconstruction is NOT the same thing and you should stop using that word every time you write something here as it's just not true.

I get it, you don't like historical styles, whether it's Baroque, Gothic or Renaissance, but at least you can show the respect those styles deserve based on their amazing legacy. You're not objective and that's never a good thing when you discuss something. For instance, I don't like postwar modernism, but I would never call Unité d'habitation a "social housing in Leeds" as it was one of the most defining moments of architecture of the 20th century.
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Old September 13th, 2016, 11:01 PM   #2029
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Contrary to that stuff in Dresden, the use of the Humboldt Forum, at least the main use, is going to be host of one of the most important ethnographic museums in the World. Surely a top-3 in its field.

As with other museums that are not bundled with their buildings (which is obviously the case of a worldwide ethnographic collection!), proper display requires plenty of blank walls, rooms that can be reconfigured to change periodical, rotating or external exhibitions, and have little distractions to the highlights of the place - the ethnographic collection.
Yeah, that's what architects brought up when interior reconstructions were considered. But guess what: that was a stitch-up from the beginning. They wanted this use to make "interior reconstructions impossible". I don't think future generations will care much for this argument, and there's no need to. Classical rooms work with pretty much everything.
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Old September 14th, 2016, 05:52 PM   #2030
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Historic Interiors

I'm sorry, but the prewar interiors of the palace that are shown in photographs look like something out of the second half of the 19th century and not something from the 17th or even the 18th century. They seem to have more in common with the Napoleon III apartments of the Louvre than other baroque buildings. What am I missing here? The following photo illustrates my point.

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Old September 14th, 2016, 06:25 PM   #2031
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Originally Posted by Joe Whalen 7 View Post
I'm sorry, but the prewar interiors of the palace that are shown in photographs look like something out of the second half of the 19th century and not something from the 17th or even the 18th century. They seem to have more in common with the Napoleon III apartments of the Louvre than other baroque buildings. What am I missing here? The following photo illustrates my point.

The Stadtschloss was build over many hundreds of years. There were late gothic, renaissance, baroque, neoclassicist and historicist interiors. The historicist interiors are probably mostly shown because they were the grandest. The Kaisers really liked it posh and fancy.

Regarding the ongoing discussion:
There are actually two interiors very likely to be rebuild. The space they would occupy are the exact same as before and they are not part of the museums. It was officially confirmed that if any rooms are reconstructed (only when there are enough funds of course) it will be these two rooms (which are from the baroque period @Joe Whalen):

Schweizer Saal:



Giganten Treppe:



They are located inside the big pavillion of the Schlüterhof:



As long as there isn't enough funds to reconstruct these rooms the space will house the lapidarium:

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Old September 14th, 2016, 07:04 PM   #2032
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And how much of the original interior can be rebuilt? I read an article a couple of months ago that says it's possible to reconstruct one third of the original interior, but I don't know if it's true. Anyway, one third of the original interior probably represents the important parts of the palace, you don't need kitchens and bathrooms, I guess.
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Old September 14th, 2016, 09:50 PM   #2033
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The Stadtschloss was build over many hundreds of years. There were late gothic, renaissance, baroque, neoclassicist and historicist interiors. The historicist interiors are probably mostly shown because they were the grandest. The Kaisers really liked it posh and fancy.
I think only one Kaiser really liked the posh and fancy, the last one, Wilhelm II. His father and grandfather were actually unaffected by the grandness they had or could have had. Wilhelm I slept on an army cot to retain his 'humble' sense of duty. And Friederich III was only Kaiser for 99 days, so he had little to do with establishing much in the area of palace enhancements. Their predecessor kings and the two Augustas had more to do with the interiors, based on my readings, and WII was directly responsible for massive renovations and the remodeling (particularly the White Hall) that we know today to be that which we'd like rebuilt.

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And how much of the original interior can be rebuilt? I read an article a couple of months ago that says it's possible to reconstruct one third of the original interior, but I don't know if it's true. Anyway, one third of the original interior probably represents the important parts of the palace, you don't need kitchens and bathrooms, I guess.
Right, except at least one bathroom would be a great rebuild. WII greatly enjoyed remodeling and rebuilding and this included the latest in indoor plumbing and design. His bathroom suite at the Friederich Hof home of his mother is testament to the grandeur of how he personally created the large space along with accommodations and fixtures for his bathroom.
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Old September 15th, 2016, 07:28 PM   #2034
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Yeah, that's what architects brought up when interior reconstructions were considered. But guess what: that was a stitch-up from the beginning. They wanted this use to make "interior reconstructions impossible". I don't think future generations will care much for this argument, and there's no need to. Classical rooms work with pretty much everything.
Does the interior layout being built allow for the rooms to be reconstructed? Or has the interior layout been so changed that the rooms could never be rebuild in their original configurations and would be just loose reconstructions?
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Old September 15th, 2016, 07:42 PM   #2035
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Does the interior layout being built allow for the rooms to be reconstructed? Or has the interior layout been so changed that the rooms could never be rebuild in their original configurations and would be just loose reconstructions?
The overall proportions of the building are the exact same but within the building the layout has been changed. Most could be converted though.
But as I mentioned, there are no room reconstructions planned except the Gigantentreppe and Schweizer Saal in the eastern Schlüterhof pavillion.
What you guys have to realize as well, the Stadtschloss aka Humboldt Forum was rebuild foremost to house museums. It was a hard fought compromise to get the baroque facades on top of that. So there is really no will to reconstruct any rooms that will take space away from the museums or hinder the round tour through the museum. The exhibition space has absolute priority and space is already limited. That view isn't likely to change in the next couple of decades.
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Old September 15th, 2016, 10:03 PM   #2036
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A stonemason working on one of the giant consoles that support the cornice:

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Old September 16th, 2016, 01:18 PM   #2037
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That view isn't likely to change in the next couple of decades.
I don't think so. The mismatching expectations of visitors when seeing the lush facades and then the bare, naked interiors will force everyone involved with the Humboldt Forum to think about it. Latest when we got the Schweizer Saal (ballroom) and Gigantentreppe (staircase) the people will long for more. First conceptual changes for a museum of this magnitude are to be expected after a dozen of years after the opening.

It was the same for pretty much any palace reconstruction so far.
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Old September 16th, 2016, 05:49 PM   #2038
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I don't think so. The mismatching expectations of visitors when seeing the lush facades and then the bare, naked interiors will force everyone involved with the Humboldt Forum to think about it. Latest when we got the Schweizer Saal (ballroom) and Gigantentreppe (staircase) the people will long for more. First conceptual changes for a museum of this magnitude are to be expected after a dozen of years after the opening.

It was the same for pretty much any palace reconstruction so far.
I don't see the museums giving up their already limited space. The whole Humboldt Forum project is lead by museum people, like Parzinger and MacGregor. They would be crazy not to block any such ideas. They can also argue that the Schweizer Saal and Gigantentreppe are more than enough to represent the old palace interior.
Last but not least, how long do you think it will take to get the donations together for just these two rooms? The Bund already has to step in to pay the palace facades. I am a great supporter of this project and I did donate money as well but, just between ourselves, I don't believe for a second they will actually reach their donation goal of over 100 million. The Stadtschloss is not the Frauenkirche. It lacks that mysticism, allure and inspiration. The facades are also soon finished. Why would people still donate money?
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Old September 16th, 2016, 05:53 PM   #2039
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I don't think so. The mismatching expectations of visitors when seeing the lush facades and then the bare, naked interiors will force everyone involved with the Humboldt Forum to think about it. Latest when we got the Schweizer Saal (ballroom) and Gigantentreppe (staircase) the people will long for more. First conceptual changes for a museum of this magnitude are to be expected after a dozen of years after the opening.

It was the same for pretty much any palace reconstruction so far.
The interior rooms will not be bare and naked. They will be full of museum exhibitions and all stuff that goes with that. The collection, not the functional rooms, will be the highlight
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Old September 16th, 2016, 05:56 PM   #2040
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Architecturally they are bare and naked. And that's a clear mismatch to the facade. People will be disappointed all along, and rightfully so.

Tiaren, we'll see. I believe in the normative power of the factual. They won't have to give up their collections. It's not like half the museum would need to close down for just one room that gets reconstructed. They'd do one after another. Any collection that needs to be relocated could temporarily go to another room, perhaps even the foyer. There will be solutions and they won't be hard. The initiation might not come from the museum itself, but they aren't the only one having stakes in this project. And the people will long for the historical interiors soon enough.
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