Museum of the 20th Century: Programmatic Folds

  • Justin Foo, B.Arch. 2018
  • Hometown Singapore, Singapore
  • Class ARCH 3101 Design V
  • Instructor Andrea Simitch

The proposal for the Museum of the 20th Century in Berlin borrows its initial spatial strategy from the adjacent Mies van der Rohe New National Gallery and a constructional affinity to Mies's investigations into steel construction. A series of stacked and initially planar surfaces are subsequently deformed in response to program, site, orientation, and structure. The fold acts as a mediator between the harsh Cartesian rationality of Mies and the lyrical tectonism of Hans Scharoun. The fold is further used as a device, as an operative strategy that allows for the mixing of programs, produces light control, structure, landscape, circulation, roofing, etc. The transformation of the urban landscape further expands this strategy of assimilation and transformation between the two icons as it undulates and stacks to initiate the sequence into the museum. The changing orientation of each plate "collects" the architecture of the city as part of the museum experience. Its crown-like roof allows soft northern light to illuminate the art within. A sequence of ramps and stairs leads to an elevated public plaza at the center of the museum which locates art as central to the urban experience. This pedestal, in turn, elevates the special galleries for maximum views of the surrounding context.

Programmatic Folds received first place in the museum category of the 2017 Steel Design Student Competition.