Caruso St John Architects

Location: Berlin, DE
Client: Staatliche Museen zu Berlin
Project Status: Exhibition Design

Caruso St John collaborated with Thomas Demand on the design of this exhibition at Mies van der Rohe’s Neue Nationalgalerie in Berlin. The thirty five works in the exhibition relate to social and historical events in Germany since 1945. The exhibition was planned to coincide with the anniversaries of two pivotal historical events in German history: the foundation of the Federal Republic of Germany 60 years ago and the fall of the Berlin Wall 40 years later. The design takes a cue from the building’s inaugural exhibition in which paintings by Paul Klee were installed on floating panels, the architect’s intended strategy for mounting exhibitions in the fully glazed upper room of the Museum.

A series of thick woollen curtains form a sequence of room like spaces that disrupt the symmetry of the gallery’s plan and form a tonal contrast with the high gloss finish of the photographs. The muted palate relates broadly to the works on show. Vitrines are closely related to the works and contain German and English language versions of short texts which are written by the playwright Botho Strauss to accompany the images on display.