Think big

Galerie Contemporary Fine Arts, Berlin

Deutsche Werkstätten services:
Manufacture of freestanding furniture

Completion 2007


Galeriehaus, Am Kupfergraben 10, lies at the heart of Berlin, directly opposite the Eiserne Brücke (Iron Bridge) leading to Museum Island. Built by David Chipperfield, many architectural critics hold it as proof of how well the old and the modern go hand-in-hand. It has been thought that the opulent museum buildings inspired Chipperfield to his spacious interiors with ceilings soaring to 5.5 meters. The Galerie Contemporary Fine Arts took over the ground and first floor in November. This gallery, founded in 1992, also commissioned Chipperfield Architects with the interior designing of their space. Ceilings and walls were kept a dazzling white. The same for the furniture, which we realised in close collaborative work with the architects. Eight worktables in five variants set the tone for the furnishings. Just as the rooms are, they are striking for their dimensions. After all, the two largest boast the not insubstantial dimensions of 3.50 x 1.60 meters. No small feat for the Deutsche Werkstätten either. Especially since the architects wanted a monolithic look to the tables – in essence no visible joints. They were to be finished in a silk-matte traffic white. The light grey linoleum of the tabletops plays off the light magnesium grey of the floors. Apart from the visual requirements, there were also static problems to be solved due to the size of these tables – leading us to decide on a glued construction. Doing so also allowed us to integrate shelves and compartments for PC keyboards and light boxes plus the cable lines such components require. Following lengthy preliminary work in Hellerau, final assembly took place inside the Berlin gallery itself.

Text: Helga Falkenstein
Photo: Bernadette Grimmenstein