The costs for the renovation of Berlin’s most visited cultural building, the Pergamon Museum, are increasing inexorably. For the second construction phase of the biggest attraction on the Museum Island, the client almost tripled its own cost estimate to 350 million euros.
This is the sum the experts estimate in an invitation to tender for planning services the effort for the “basic overhaul” of the third, northern wing of the Pergamon Museum and its addition with a new, fourth wing, which should make it possible for the first time to tour the extensive exhibition of ancient art.
In an overview for parliament and government of all “civil large federal building measures” in need, the then Federal Minister for Building, Barbara Hendricks (SPD), held six years ago to the Pergamon Museum that the “2nd Construction phase with additional costs of 124 million euros ”.
Around three years ago, the federal government wrote to the parliamentary question from SPD MP Swen Schulz: “The approved total construction costs for basic maintenance and supplementation (of the Pergamon Museum; editor’s note) is 430 million euros”. According to the cost estimate for the second construction phase, the total construction costs are more than twice as high: around 800 million euros.
First phase of construction above the estimates
Moist building ground, monument protection, building while the building was in operation – the many adversities had already forced the federal government to massively correct the cost estimate during the first construction phase: from “budget-recognized” EUR 261 million to EUR 477 million.
When the topping-out ceremony for this first construction phase was celebrated half a year ago, the head of the Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation, Hermann Parzinger, admitted that the planned completion of this section could be postponed again until 2025. The federal government last had the “completion of the Overall construction measure for 2025 “announced, that is, both construction phases.
The renovation of the Pergamon Museum has been going on for ten years. In the “IV. Quarter 2031 “, in the best case, all work to restore the museum, built in 1930 according to plans by Alfred Messel, will be completed. This also includes a new, fourth wing, which the architect Oswald Mathias Ungers, who died in 2007, had designed for the project in the master plan.
Berlin architect Jan Kleihues takes over the second construction phase
The Federal Office for Building and Regional Planning determined the completion in 2031 in its invitation to tender for the planner who will accompany this second construction phase. Six offices had applied. The contract was awarded to the office of the Berlin architect Jan Kleihues, whose father was a companion of Ungers. The contract will be remunerated with a fee of 14 million euros and includes the “basic repair” of an area of ”21,700 square meters” in the existing monument and the construction of “500 square meters of connecting buildings” to close the tour at the Pergamon Museum.
When asked by Tagesspiegel, the Federal Office for Building and Regional Planning (BBR) confirmed: “When the contract was signed in December 2019, the Kleihues + Kleihues office was commissioned with planning services for section B of the Pergamon Museum, including sections of the archaeological promenade”. The work should start “after completion of construction phase A”. This is “to be expected in the period from mid-2023 to spring 2025”.
The museum’s grounds are also to be renewed
The BBR emphasized that “the figures given in the tenders should only give a rough idea of the size of a project” and “should not be confused with the costs to be determined first”. According to the tender, “project costs based on cost groups 200 to 500 and 700” result in an order volume of “approximately 350 million euros net”.
The Pergamon Museum is connected to other cultural buildings on Museum Island by an “archaeological promenade”, including the Bode Museum. The construction of the promenade is as much part of the tender for the second construction phase as the “underground connecting buildings” of the promenade. In addition, in the second phase of construction, all “outdoor facilities of the museum are to be finally built”. In addition, the U-shaped building is closed by the fourth wing and a “bridge over the copper ditch”.