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Libeskind’s Museum of Military History

The Museum of Military History in Dresden wedged by Daniel Libeskind's new addition. Photo: Daniel Libeskind, 2011

The Museum of Military History in Dresden re-opened last Friday featuring a new addition by Daniel Libeskind.The office of the Polish born architect Daniel Libeskind designed the addition to the Museum of Military in Dresden, Germany that opened last week - ten years after Libeskind's design won the competition.

Since its 1897 founding, the museum has been a Saxon armory and museum, a Nazi museum, a Soviet museum and an East German museum.  In 1989, after the re-unification of the German state, the government shut the museum down. In 2001 an architectureal competition was held to facilitate a reconsideration of the way we think about war and that would be adequate for a unified and democratic Germany.

Libeskind's addition cuts through the existin historic building. Photo: Daniel Libeskind

Libeskind’s winning scheme:  A five-story 140-ton wedge made of glass, concrete and steel that cuts through the 135-year-old former arsenal building. At the top of the addition is a 98-foot (30 m) high viewing platform.

The steel and glass facade of the addition represents transparency and openness. Photo: Daniel Libeskind

The dramatic extension is meant to be “a symbol of the resurrection of Dresden from its ashes” – but in opposite to the Frauenkirche’s replica building Libeskind applies modern materials and creates a new open and transparent façade to contrast the opacity and rigidity of the existing historic building.

View of the interior of Libeskind's addition to Dresden Museum of Military History. Photo: Daniel Libeskind

“I wanted to create a bold interruption, a fundamental dislocation, to penetrate the historic arsenal and create a new experience.” Daniel Libeskind

Daniel Libeskind addition to Dresden’s Museum for Military History made it to Germany’s largest museum with an exhibition area of 20,000 m2.

Plan of the Museum of Military History in Dresden. Drawing by Daniel Libeskind.

Museum for Military History

Olbrichtplatz 2

01099 Dresden


Opening hours:

Monday:  10:00 a.m. - 9:00 p.m.

Tuesday – Sunday:  10:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.

Closed on Wednesday.


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