Due to the tightened Corona restrictions, the Humboldt Forum will not be able to open its doors to the public on 17 December as planned.
The Humboldt Forum is a new center of culture and science in the historical heart of Berlin. It brings together arts, cultures, areas of knowledge, people, communities and perspectives, creating spaces for surprising experiments and inspiring encounters. The outstanding collections that have been assembled under one roof and the varied programme of exhibitions, events and educational and digital offerings inspire visitors to gain new insights into the world of yesterday, today and tomorrow.
The architect’s plan is in line with the 2007 decision by the Bundestag stipulating that only three of the four outer facades, including the cupola, are to be reconstructed, as well as the three Baroque facades of the Schlüterhof. No guidelines were set for the historical transverse wing between the Schlüterhof and Eosanderhof courtyards and the Renaissance wing to the east. This is where the Belvedere will be erected as a freestanding and consciously modern structure.
Yes, in fact that’s the whole idea. Architecturally, the Humboldt Forum is characterized by the contrast between contemporary elements and the reconstructed Baroque facades of the Berlin Palace. 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.
In September 2011 the Palace Workshop, run by the Stiftung Humboldt Forum im Berliner Schloss, was opened in Berlin’s Spandau district. Here and in other external workshops, half a dozen sculptors, stonemasons and model builders are at work on the Baroque facade decorations for the Berlin Palace. This is where all the decorative elements are designed: from colossal statues down to leaf garlands. Original architectural elements that survived the demolition of the palace in 1950 are also stored in the Palace Workshop.
The overall costs for the construction of the Humboldt Forum amount to a total of EUR 644 million, of which the federal government takes over EUR 532 million and the state of Berlin EUR 32 million. The remaining EUR 80 million for the reconstruction of the baroque facades will be financed exclusively by donations from private sponsors. Additional costs for the reconstruction of the dome and optional facade elements amount to a total of EUR 19 million (July 2020).
Depending on the amount donated, donors will be acknowledged at a prominent spot inside the Humboldt Forum. Elements of the decorative facade can also be symbolically purchased through the friends’ association Berliner Schloss e.V., giving donors the chance to immortalize themselves in the very fabric of the palace.