New National Gallery
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Architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe
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Location Berlin, Germany   map
Date 1962 to 1968   timeline
Building Type Exhibition building
 Construction System steel frame with coffered rib roof
Climate temperate
Context urban
Style Modern
Notes "Neue Nationalgalerie". Grid structural plan, "free plan" interior, continuous space.



View from east

Southeast corner, from east


Plan Drawing

Plan Drawing

Site Plan Drawing

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3D Spatial Model (DesignWorkshop 3dmf)

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Discussion New National Gallery Commentary

"Structurally and spatially the museum bears an obvious resemblance to one of Mies's earlier projects, the Bacardi office Building (1957), Santiago de Cuba. Although the museum's structure is larger, and of steel versus reinforced concrete for the Bacardi building, both have square plans. Each employs a two-way roof structure supported along the perimeter on eight columns (two on each side set in from the corners). Each defines large open spaces on an elevated platform. Further, Mies used broad flights of steps reminiscent of Schinkel's work to connect their respective platforms with the ground."

— David Spaeth. Mies van der Rohe. p176 "Above all Mies wanted to carry out on a more monumental scale the unitary space and surrounding structure that he had conceived for Bacardi. The great room would house temporary exhibitions while the permanent collection together with administrative offices and auxiliary services would be lodged in the podium, where they would not violate the integrity of the temple above. Once completed, the hall, walled totally in glass, measured 166 feet square, with a 26-foot height, comprising an area of 27,000 square feet. The 213-foot-square roof, the first rigid plate ever executed, was constructed in the form of an orthogonal grid of web girders 6 feet deep separated at 12-foot intervals....To achieve so ineffable an architectural effect Mies was content to leave most of the downstairs galleries to the mercy of a pedestrian arrangement of spaces, most of them artificially illuminated."

— Franz Schulze. Mies van der Rohe. p308.

"Of all Mies's buildings, [the New National Gallery] is his most classical in feeling. It is a temple to art on a man-made acropolis.
"The museum is, however, a product of its own time.... As in Mies's other buildings, the New National Gallery's qualities as a space are the product of the technology and materials of the twentieth century working in conjunction with his idea of an architecturally defined spatial continuum."

— David Spaeth. Mies Van Der Rohe. London: The Architectural Press, 1985. p176.

The Creator's Words

"Es hat ja jeheissen, jeder sollte nur fuenf Minuten sprechen. Wat da jeschwindelt wurde! Ich will hier nur den Stahlfritzen danken, und den Betonleuten. Und als das jrosse Dach sich lautlos hob, da hab' ich jestaunt!!"

"It was agreed that nobody would speak more than five minutes. What humbug that was! I want to thank the blokes who worked the steel, and the ones who did the concrete. And when the great roof raised itself up without a sound, I was amazed!"

— Franz Schulze. Mies van der Rohe.


The granite podium measures 346 by 362 feet.

Sources on New National Gallery

Peter Carter. Mies van der Rohe at Work. London: The Pall Mall Press, 1974. photo of exterior detail, f224, p95. photo of exterior, f234, p99.

Roger H. Clark and Michael Pause. Precedents in Architecture. New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold, 1985. ISBN 0-442-21668-8. LC 84-3543. NA2750.C55 1984. geometry diagram, p182. — Updated edition available at

Donald Corner and Jenny Young. Slide from photographer's collection. PCD.2260.1012.1841.047

Johnson Architectural Images. Copyrighted slides in the Artifice Collection.

Kevin Matthews. The Great Buildings Collection on CD-ROM. Artifice, 2001. ISBN 0-9667098-4-5.— Available at  Find books about New National Gallery


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