The reconstruction of the Berlin Palace as Humboldt Forum is one of the most widely noted construction sites in Germany at present. According to the architectural design of Franco Stella, several architectural concrete façades made of particularly high-quality, bright precast concrete elements are erected as a counterpoint to the lavish baroque façades. Raw material used for the concrete: Dyckerhoff Weiss.
Already back in 2008, Franco Stella, the Italian architect who was relatively unknown until then, was able to win the competition for the reconstruction of the palace. Then the construction works at the historically important place began in 2012. Here the original Berlin City Palace was blown up in 1950. The empty space was first used as fairground and parade grounds for mass rallies of the GDR. The construction works of the Palace of the Republic, the seat of the People’s Chamber of the GDR and cultural and event site at the same time, commenced more than 20 years later. Due to the restaurants and bars included in the large building, it also had the character of a community center, which many citizens of the GDR had kept in mind positively. The demolition of the building, contaminated with asbestos, that was decided after the German reunification was completed in 2008.
Contract awarded to Dreßler Bau
In April 2014, the Stockstadt subsidiary of Dreßler Bau GmbH won the tender for the architectural concrete façade of the Agora, the Palace Forum, the Schlüter Courtyard and the entire exterior façade of the east side. A lot of samples were provided then and a sample wall was prepared. The first precast elements of the façade were installed at the Agora at the beginning of 2015. The mighty pillars and balustrades are made of acid-treated high-performance concrete with Dyckerhoff Weiss Face. An overall spectacular impression of space is created in the 28 m high entrance hall. The topping-out ceremony took place on June 12, 2015.
The first precast elements of the eastern façade were installed in spring 2016. Since March, the building is officially named: The lettering “Humboldt Forum” was fixed at the bottom of the eastern façade. The English spelling – separated and without a hyphen – is different from the presentation in the rendering. After the completion of the new palace building scheduled for 2019, the Humboldt Forum, among others, will move in and will exhibit collections from Berlin-based museums. By using different perspectives and forms of presentation, the wealth and values of world cultures shall be taken into consideration. The planners’ primary objective is an appropriate representation of the complex relationships between Germany and the world.
The Berlin Palace–Humboldt Forum Foundation is awarding authority, owner and operator of the Palace building. For the implementation of the project, Franco Stella has joined forces with the architectural offices Hilmar & Sattler and Albrecht, Berlin/Munich and Gerkan, Marg & Partner, Hamburg/Berlin.