British architect David Chipperfield presented the new Folkwang Museum
in Essen, once considered the most beautiful in the world and which was reduced to rubble by Allied bombs during World War II.
The new Folkwang Museum in all its splendor will transform Essens museums landscape once it opens the Capital of Culture year 2010. Funded by the Alfried Krupp von Bohlen und Halbach Foundation, and penned by David Chipperfield Architects, the new design deliberately preserves the autonomy of the old listed building.
The new exhibition areas bathed in natural light continue its architectural tradition. The creativity that has gone into the design of the rest of the building is evident, for example, in the magnificent open stairway that will lead from the Bismarckstrasse into the new entrance foyer, the latter designed as an open inner courtyard with a café and restaurant, complete with a museum bookshop, and shielded by a glass façade looking out onto the street.
The Folkwang Museum owes its excellent international reputation to the outstanding collections of 19th century German and French paintings, Classical Modernism and post-war art. The photographic and graphic collections and the integrated German Poster Museum are also important components. Along with its large-scale public exhibitions, worthy of the international attention they attract, the museum's activities now focus primarily on contemporary art.
David Chipperfield was born in London in 1953. After receiving his Diploma from the Architectural Association in London he worked at the practices of Douglas Stephen, Richard Rogers and Norman Foster and in 1984 established his own practice, David Chipperfield Architects. The practice currently has over 150 staff from 20 countries and offices in London, Berlin, Milan, and a representative office in Shanghai.
In 1999, David Chipperfield was awarded the Tessenow Gold Medal and presented an exhibition with Tessenow Stipendiat and Spanish architect Andrés Jaque at the Hellerau Festspielhaus, Germany. In 2000 David Chipperfield represented Britain at the Venice Biennale of Architecture. In 2003 he was made Honorary Member of the Florence Academy of Art and Design and in 2004 he was awarded a CBE for services to architecture. In 2007, two of Chipperfields buildings (America's Cup Building and the Museum of Modern Literature) made the RIBA Stirling Prize shortlist, with the Museum of Modern Literature winning.
The Neues Museum in Berlin opened to the public in October 2009. David Chipperfield Architects is currently working on the Turner Contemporary in Margate, the James Simon Gallery the New Entrance Building for the Museum Island in Berlin, the extension to the San Michele Cemetery Island in Venice, the expansion of the Saint Louis Art Museum, and many other residential, cultural, commercial and product design projects.