The Humboldt Forum’s architecture stands out due to its contrast between Modernity and Baroque

Architecturally, the Humboldt Forum repeats large parts of the facades of the Berlin Palace, destroyed in 1945 and demolished in 1950. The palace was built from 1698 to 1718 according to designs by architects Andreas Schlüter and Johann Friedrich von Eosander. It has been regarded as one of the most significant secular buildings of the Baroque period north of the Alps.


Differences that connect

Its reinterpretation by Italian architect Franco Stella links tradition and modernity. The building reflects not only the breaks in the site’s history, but also points to the theme of connecting differences that will be the leitmotif of the Humboldt Forum’s programme.

The concepts of palace and piazza allow for a well-balanced combination of the old and the new.
Modern architecture and reconstruction

On the side facing the Spree, the building will feature a modern facade. The three Baroque palace facades overlooking the Lustgarten, Schlossfreiheit and Schlossplatz are currently being reconstructed. But facing east towards the Spree, the Humboldt Forum presents an uncompromisingly contemporary aspect. The three Baroque facades in the Schlüter Courtyard are also being rebuilt. Here, too, the fourth facade will be modern in design.

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The decision for reconstructing the baroque facades

In the summer of 2002 the German Bundestag passed a resolution to partially reconstruct the Berlin Palace as the Humboldt Forum. A large cross-party majority followed the recommendation of the international commission of experts known as “Historic Centre of Berlin”: a modern museum, knowledge and meeting center was to be built behind the reconstructed baroque outer facades of the Berlin Palace (including the baroque facades in the Schlüter Courtyard).

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