Designed by architect David Chipperfield, the newly opened James-Simon-Galerie serves as the entrance building for Museum Island, completing the ensemble between Kupfergraben canal and the southwest façade of Neues Museum in Berlin.
For the foyers and exhibition spaces, e15 benches and bistro tables designed by David Chipperfield are an extension of the architecture. Combining natural materials and high quality production, the pieces are characterised by excellence, sobriety and essentiality.
The museum entrance building is named after one of the city’s most important patrons, James Simon (1851–1932); a German entrepreneur, art collector, philanthropist who donated most of his significant collections to the Berlin State Museums, including the famous Nefertiti bust.
Aligned in a North-South direction, the James-Simon-Galerie visitors will be welcomed by a large, open flight of stairs. The terrace which faces Southwest and offers a view over the Kupfergraben, is an open space accessible to the public. The building is a central reception area and meets the modern expectations of the public towards one of the largest museum complexes in the world. In addition to a large area for ticket sales and information, the James-Simon-Galerie features a museum shop, café and restaurant, as well as an auditorium and space for special exhibitions.
With a focus on authentic materiality and high quality craftsmanship, the bespoke furniture produced by e15 integrates intuitively and reflects the monolithic architecture. The distinct SIMON bench comprises a seating surface of natural leather, which will age with a warm patina, stitched and crafted onto a flat layer of steel and padding atop a slim frame made of powder-coated steel. The bistro table is a bespoke design also by David Chipperfield and is made from a well crafted Bianco Carrara top and a steel frame with dark semi-transparent powder-coating. The table is specified for the café on the upper level of the James-Simon-Galerie.
David Chipperfield is an acclaimed British architect who is recognised with numerous international awards and honours. Established in 1985, David Chipperfield Architects is a leading global architectural practice with offices in London, Berlin, Milan and Shanghai. Chosen as the architect for the reconstruction of the Neues Museum in Berlin, which reopened in 2009 to critical acclaim, he is inter alia, a winner of the Heinrich Tessenow Gold Medal, has received the RIBA Royal Gold Medal for Architecture and was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 2004.