The Neues Museum—an important mid-nineteenth century example of Neoclassical architecture and the centerpiece of Berlin's Museum Island—was badly damaged during World War II. From 1997-2009, British architect David Chipperfield worked to restore the structure—which was originally completed by Friedrich August Stueler in 1859—to its pre-war function. Located behind the Altes Museum, the space housed the Egyptian Collection. Chipperfield's controversial plans followed a principle of conservation (or amalgamation) rather than reconstruction; he preserved the skeleton of the original building, with its elaborate finishes, attractive brickwork, frescoes and ornamentation, merging and contrasting these characteristics with his own subtle interpolations of clean white lines and quiet geometrical structures. The results are astounding, setting new standards in the field and opening up exciting possibilities for museum conversions. This volume celebrates Chipperfield's work in a series of beautiful images by the Berlin-based architectural photographer Friederike von Rauch. Von Rauch is well known for her unusual and exacting approach to architectural photography: eschewing digital technology and only using natural light, she presents a crisp and vibrant series of images that eloquently tell the story of Chipperfield's unorthodox but successful restoration.
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