Contrast and Continuity

Contrast and Continuity

Professor Christopher Platt
2nd October 2019


Two post war German architectural taboos have finally been erased by British architects. James Stirling’s 1984 Staatsgalerie reintroduced civic monumentality, and the James Simon Gallery by David Chipperfield has embedded the stoa once more in German cultural life.

Tall fingers of immaculate reinforced concrete extend the existing architectural ‘melody’ from the Neues Museum. How will it weather? Its monumental plinth, ankle- deep in the River Spree, sports two curiously uncertain window openings. Neither picture frame-like (Zumthor-Cologne) nor excavated carving (Thomson-Glasgow), the configuration seems ambiguous.  Internally, bronze, concrete and rich timber linings set a hushed, robust and confident tone.


Berlin, Germany



Photographs by Christopher Platt

Helen Campbell