Designed as the new gateway to Museum Island, the James-Simon-Galerie was inaugurated on July 13 in the presence of the German Chancellor and David Chipperfield. It will play a significant role in the entrance and conveyance of visitors by creating the missing link between the Pergamon Museum and the archaeological walk in the basement with the Neues Museum, the Altes Museum and the Bode Museum.
The new extension is raised from the ground by a high stone base that reinforces the bank of the Kupfergraben canal, above which it rises, taking up the ancient canons of propylaeum - in a contemporary key. The thin columns become a leitmotif and constitute a space of transition between outside and inside used for the crossing, just like in the Athenian temples.
Arriving at the upper level, visitors enter a large foyer, with ticket offices and direct access to the main exhibition floor of the Pergamon. The foyer also includes a cafeteria and opens onto a large terrace that runs along the Kupfergraben canal along the entire length of the building. A mezzanine floor below the foyer of the main entrance houses a bookshop and a large cloakroom, toilets and lockers, while the temporary exhibition spaces and an auditorium are located in the basement.
The architectural language of the James-Simon-Galerie takes up elements that already exist on Museum Island, mainly external architecture, such as topography, colonnades and external staircases, referring to Schinkel, Stüler and the other architects involved in the creation of the Museumsinsel.