Probably museums, as they are conceived today, have no longer sense to exist. Their iconic power holds too formal a relationship with the surroundings, the building hiding artworks rather than showing them. It is therefore necessary to contrive the museum as a device able to act on the urban space with different modalities.
Our proposal for the M20 Museum works on two central elements that characterize the urban structure and consequently its architecture: the void and the excavation – the void as a compositional device that structures the space, the excavation as a primary form of building, able to define architecture through its sheer absence.
Contemporary museums dialogue with the city only through their form, and consequently the city conforms itself to their peculiarities, using them mainly as centers of attraction. In Berlin, the entire competition area is already a museum hub that gathers iconic examples of modern architecture. Currently, however, every building is disconnected from the others. With this project we do not want to add a new icon to the existing ones, rather we aim at fining a bond among all the buildings scattered over the area. Indeed, we do believe that only by designing the public spaces surrounding the area it is possible to tie together the existing museums: as a result, the museum would become first and foremost an urban space to use and inhabit.
The strategy of the M20 Museum consists therefore of discarding any idea of form and of occupying the smallest possible space by preserving the void at the core of the competition area and by retaining all the landscape features highlighted in the Kulturforum masterplan realized by Valentien + Valentien in 2014.
The space of M20 Piazza is a simple void that everyday life will transform into an essential stage of Berlin urban life. The void is therefore used a tool to define the place, as a generating element of the metropolitan structure, and organizing frame of all the places and the functions that surrounds the competition area.