The new extension
The new extension for the German Museum of Technology is a trendsetting museum building of international standing.
The prominent five-storey building designed by Berlin architects Helge Pitz and Ulrich Wolff has a total usable area of 20,000 square metres. Located across from Potsdamer Platz, its original yet functional architecture forms the unmistakable landmark of the Gleisdreieck forum for culture and technology .
The C-47 "Skytrain" suspended from the facade is a real eye-catcher attracting attention far and wide. The plane, also known in Germany as a "Raisin Bomber", is a lasting monument to Berlin's gratitude for the airlift of 1948-49.
The new extension opened on 14 December 2003 with the nautical exhibition; the Air and Space Collection followed in spring 2005. Each exhibition has 6,000 square metres of floor space. The extensive historical archives and the 500,000-volume library have been open to visitors since early summer 2002.
The building is 95 metres long, 103 metres wide and 33 metres high, and has five exhibition levels. It is located between the historical museum buildings in Trebbiner Strasse and the former goods station of Anhalter Güterbahnhof, which will one day become the museum's main building. Its angular glass front points like a ship's bow towards the canal and its huge glass facade showcases the collections. The building has an exhibitions section and a services section.
The architecture makes a strong feature of "revealing" the primary construction. Most of the walls are unplastered, so the exposed concrete and bare masonry can still be seen. The composite structure allows the steel to be left exposed too, and the service ducts are also visible. The exhibition areas are tailor-made for the special needs of the maritime and aerospace departments, each with 6,000 square metres of flexible, functional exhibition space.
Cutting-edge Low-energy Building
As part of a research project funded by the Ministry of Research and Technology several research institutes (the Fraunhofer Institute for Building Physics in Stuttgart, the Institute for Building, Environment, and Solar Research in Berlin and the Department of Climate-optimized Construction at the Technical University Berlin) provided the criteria for all the building services, especially air conditioning and lighting. The goal was to develop, optimize and demonstrate innovative, structurally integrated systems for utilizing solar power and supplying natural light. The building demonstrates the potential for savings in a large public building and exploits new possibilities for energy-conscious planning, construction and utilization.