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The Neue Nationalgalerie with its open universal space is the last building Mies van der Rohe planned independently and is therefore regarded as his great legacy. The building’s imminent refurbishment once again sharpens the focus on the logic of the building, on the relationship between form and function. Since the opening in 1968 the museum has continuously been used to showcase the 20th century art collection of the Nationalgalerie as well as special exhibitions. At the same time the building has long been a world famous classic of modernism for its clarity and rigour.

The colloquium “Form versus Function: Mies and the Museum” brings together architects, artists, academics, curators, and architectural conservators to address the building’s dual role as important monument and outstanding museum. Alongside a presentation of the planned refurbishment by British architect David Chipperfield, Mies van der Rohe’s grandson and former project manager Dirk Lohan will talk about the planning and construction process of the Neue Nationalgalerie in the 1960s. Other lectures deal with a reflection on specific aesthetic and museum conditions of the exhibition building inter alia from a cultural studies perspective by Beatriz Colomina.