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Large air ducts have been installed and concealed. We have found space for large plant rooms below ground, and then choreographed the building’s flows. Both visitors and objects, the sometimes invaluable works of art, move smoothly through the building.
Most of what we have done cannot be seen, it is hidden away in walls, ceilings, and beneath the floors. But in the southern atrium stands a tall lift tower, clad in a shimmering weave of oxidized brass. It solves the majority of the museum’s logistics. The exhibits come from the basement and are lifted into place. The lift allows for very large and heavy objects, so it is bulky. An immodest monolith capable of carrying everything from Johan Tobias Sergels Amor and Psyche to lively school classes.
The once sealed off southern atrium now bathes in a comfortably natural skylight, just like the northern. Both of the atria are enclosed under new glass roofs. From the outside, these structures have the form of shallow domes—unobtrusive shapes that do not spoil the building’s original form.
Inside, there is a risk of reverberation and disturbing noise levels—visitors to the British Museum’s enclosed courtyards know just how noisy it can be beneath a vaulted glass surface. So instead of using flat panels of glass, each opening in the frame has been formed into a shallow pyramid. That breaks up the reflected sound waves into a multitude of directions and sends them to sound-attenuating stucco wall surfaces around the space. It is an essentially scientific answer to the problem, but it results in a delicate glass roof that is full of fine details. To the untrained eye the look is almost nineteenth-century.
On a sunny day hundreds of triangular shaped shadows play in the dreamlike sculpture park, that is the southern atrium.
Nationalmuseum has been modernized and adapted to the 21st century. Simultaneously – hidden qualities from the 19th century has been dug out, polished and put to use. A modern, refined interpretation of Stülers original vision.