Contents and Space: New Concept and New Building of the Militärhistorisches Museum of the Bundeswehr

Gorch Pieken


The Bundeswehr Museum of Military History in the north of Dresden will be the largest military history museum in Germany. Before German reunification, the museum buildings housed the Museum of the National People’s Army. Its collections and premises were later transferred to the Bundeswehr. Following an international competition, American architect Daniel Libeskind was commissioned to completely refurbish one of the existing buildings and to add a new extension. The wedge-shaped, asymmetric extension that Libeskind designed cuts through the massive existing building and its clearly articulated features, creating space for large and heavy exhibits in vertical shafts that span several floors. Here, form will follow function. At the same time, the architecture is charged with symbolic meaning, making the building itself the first and largest object in the exhibition. Key to the new permanent exhibition, which will open in late 2011, is its exploration of issues from multiple perspectives. Traditional expectations are questioned and fresh perspectives offer a new look at complex issues in military and cultural history. Accessible, diverse and full of contrasts – this is a museum that will encourage visitors to find their own point of view. The Bundeswehr Museum of Military History will be a place where science and the public meet. It will be a forum for engaging with military history and for public debate on the role of war and the military in the past, present and future.

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Copyright (c) 2015 Gorch Pieken

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Museum and Society

ISSN 1479-8360