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Visualisierung_Innenhof@GMP mit Rainer Schmidt Landschaftsarchitekt
Press release,

Results of the architectural competition for the Museum für Naturkunde Berlin

Following the conclusion of the architectural competition for the Museum für Naturkunde Berlin, gmp Architekten von Gerkan, Marg und Partner was awarded 1st prize. The winning design enables the museum to restructure the visitor infrastructure in the main building with the roofing of the two inner courtyards. The jury decision was followed by Staab Architekten with Levin Monsigny LA (2nd prize), allmannwappner gmbh / Station c23+rabe landschaften (3rd prize) and WXCA Sp. z o.o. / KOPPERROTH (4th prize).

All submitted competition works will be on display at the Museum für Naturkunde Berlin from 4 to 16 July 2023, freely accessible to everyone.

"Over the next few years, we will continue to build a sustainable, green museum for Berlin, for nature and for the global community," says Johannes Vogel, Director General of the Museum für Naturkunde Berlin. "By expanding the exhibition space and building over the courtyards, we have the opportunity to make our globally respected scientific work even more tangible for visitors and to engage in a more intensive dialogue about the future of the Earth."

"The museum's vision of leading social dialogue as an open, integrated research museum and innovative communication center must be reflected architecturally," said Stephan Junker, Managing Director of the Museum für Naturkunde Berlin. "Transparency, barrier-free access and modern guest infrastructure must be created to achieve this."

The winning design allows the museum to restructure the visitor infrastructure in the main building with the roofing of the two courtyards. The current Dinosaur Hall will become the "Welcome Zone" for ticketing, information and scientific exchange. From there, visitors enter the covered courtyards with new exhibition areas and a barrier-free connection to the north wing at the rear. The insights of the courtyard buildings represent openness, transparency and form the bridge of science transfer between the museum and society. The forecourt also receives a barrier-free access through a slight ramp to the main staircase and the ramps on both sides, which is continued in the interior.

Occasion and aim of the architectural competition

As an integrated research museum of the Leibniz Association, the Museum für Naturkunde Berlin rests on three closely interconnected areas: a research-led collection with 30 million natural history objects, collection-based research with international appeal, and science-based knowledge transfer.

Thus, in addition to collection-based research and the care and development of its collection, the Museum für Naturkunde Berlin also strives to inspire people for nature, to learn with them and, as an internationally visible, scientific and cultural beacon for nature, to inspire debates about the future of the planet - with people for the world. To this end, it combines scientific excellence with the participation of broad social strata in an exemplary manner and motivates people to engage in the essential debate on the relevant topics of nature.

The Museum is thus not only an integrated research museum, but also an open one. "Opening up" as a research museum means providing authentic insight into the diverse tasks of the museum wherever possible, as well as creating as many opportunities for participation as possible. "Opening up" also means that the Museum is reaching out to society, not the other way around. The place Museum für Naturkunde Berlin – with its buildings and courtyards – must therefore be inclusive and barrier-free for its audience as far as is at all possible.

Since 2018, the Museum für Naturkunde Berlin has already been working in various sub-projects on the implementation of the Future Plan conceived by the Museum. The Future Plan is made possible by the funding agencies of the Federal Government and the State of Berlin, each of which is financing the overall project with €330 million. In order to develop further in the coming years as an open and integrated research museum with the themes of biodiversity, evolution, science and society, a building is needed that is economically, functionally and sustainably conducive to cutting-edge research, collection development and science communication. Knowledge transfer and open research museum will in this way become even more the core profile of the museum, in all conceivable facets.

Competition task

With the confirmation of a 1st project phase (approx. 20,500 sqm of floor space) of the Future Plan by the Federal Government and the State of Berlin as joint funding providers, a total of around 294 million euros will be made available at the Invalidenstraße site for the structural and infrastructural upgrading of the Museum.

This means that it is now possible to repair the buildings and outdoor facilities concerned, to renovate them in line with the requirements of a listed building and to meet the Museum's growing space requirements by building new sections.The architectural competition launched six months ago focused on the following core tasks:

  • Design of the forecourt with barrier-free main entrance
  • Development of the museum as an open, integrated research museum with modern infrastructure for visitors
  • New buildings in the courtyards for exhibition, collection and research purposes
  • Design of the outdoor facilities

The Future Plan is not intended to conserve the Museum buildings, but to develop them into the future, while at the same time appreciating and respecting them as a listed ensemble. A science campus with a high quality of stay is to be created, where both visitors and employees feel comfortable.

Competition procedure

The procedure was carried out as a restricted, single-phase realization competition in accordance with RPW 2013 §3 and Vergabeverordnung VgV (§§ 78 ff, 69 ff).

By means of a preliminary, worldwide open application procedure, 18 participants were selected from 60 international applicants to take part in the competition. Finally, after a 3-month processing time, 15 architectural offices each submitted a competition entry. The procedure was anonymous.

The architectural competition is an essential part of a so-called VgV procedure (public procurement ordinance), but only one, which is why negotiation procedures with the three prize winners take place after the conclusion of the competition and only then can the planning contract be awarded to the most suitable architectural firm.


Chaired by Prof. Ulrike Lauber, the jury met on 28 and 29 June 2023.

Specialist judges:

  • Stefan Bernhard, Landesarchitekt, Berlin
  • Dr. Raoul Bunschoten, Architekt, Berlin/Köln
  • Anne Hangebruch, Architektin, Dortmund/Zürich
  • Barbara Holzer, Architektin, Zürich
  • Ulrike Lauber, Architektin, München
  • Hilde Léon, Architektin, Berlin
  • Dr. Engelbert Lütke Daldrup, Stadtplaner, Berlin/Leipzig
  • Tobias Micke, Landschaftsarchitekt, Berlin
  • Ansgar Schulz, Architekt, Leipzig

Subject judges

  • Ephraim Gothe, Stellvertretender. Bezirksbürgermeister, Geschäftsbereichsleitung Stadtentwicklung und Facility Management, BA Mitte
  • Dr. Uta Grund, Stellvertretende Vorsitzende des Stiftungsrates des Museums für Naturkunde, Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung
  • Stephan Junker, Museum für Naturkunde Berlin, Geschäftsführer
  • SBD Petra Kahlfeldt, Senatsbaudirektorin, Senatsverwaltung für Stadtentwicklung, Bauen und Wohnen, Berlin
  • Peter C. Kjaergaard, Direktor des Naturkundemuseums Kopenhagen
  • Dr. Henry Marx, Staatssekretär für Wissenschaft und Forschung, Berlin
  • Dr. Christoph Rauhut, Landeskonservator, Landesdenkmalamt Berlin
  • Johannes Vogel, Ph.D., Museum für Naturkunde Berlin, Generaldirektor


  • 1st prize: gmp Architekten von Gerkan, Marg und Partner
  • 2nd prize: Staab Architekten mit Levin Monsigny LA
  • 3rd prize: allmannwappner gmbh / Station c23+rabe landschaften 
  • 4th prize: WXCA Sp. z o.o. / KOPPERROTH        


The 15 competition entries are on display at the Museum für Naturkunde Berlin:

  • Location: Museum für Naturkunde, Invalidenstraße 43, 10115 Berlin, former Bug Hall, 1st floor, staircase left
  • Time: 4–16 July 2023 during the opening hours of the museum
  • Tuesday–Friday, 9:30–18:00; Sat/Sun, 10:00–18:00