Humboldt Box

The Schloßplatz in Berlin has seen a lot in its time: tournament area, aristocratic residence of the Hohenzollerns, Palace of the Republic and currently the construction site of the Humboldt Forum.

ProjectConstruction of a temporary pavilion as information centre for the reconstruction of Berlin Palace
ClientFederal State of Berlin
DesignGewers Pudewill
Size3,100 sqm
Award2. Platz 2009
TeamArchitect in charge Nina Hattingh

In order to accompany the construction in an informative way, a temporary pavilion was designed for this historic square: The Humboldt Box. Created to exhibit the Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation’s collection of non-European works, the structure also gave a taste of what it will look like in the completed Forum.

The building was designed as part of a competition and constructed in a geometrical pattern, which transforms with movement. Flowing lines at the top and bottom edges create a sense of living architecture that dissolves into abstract vertical lines and finally into a melody of fine slats. A large, spherical interior is set to become the presentation and exhibition highlight.

The Box itself was designed around this spectacular interior which can be found on three levels. The exhibition is found in the outer walkabout tour, as well as in the spherical interior, which also serves for the displays and media presentations. As for the structure’s design, it symbolises the order and complexity of an academic society which Alexander von Humboldt helped to found.