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David Chipperfield at the World Architecture Festival

The third annual World Architecture Festival (WAF) starts today in Barcelona, where a five-person jury has whittled more than 500 entries down to 236. These range in scale from very large, like South Africa’s Soccer City, to much smaller structures, like the Costa Rican Bamboo House. The jury itself is kind of a big deal, with starchitect Arata Isozaki, MoMA curator Barry Bergdoll and structural engineer Hanif Kara at the helm. But as this is a forum for world architecture, there are lots of big names in each of the 15 categories.

One of the most exciting projects is David Chipperfield‘s Neues Museum in the Transformations thematic exhibition, “which explores architecture’s ability to transform spaces and environments.” Berlin’s Neues Museum, which was completed in 1859 on museum island, was destroyed by extensive bombing in WWII. It remained in ruins until 1997, when David Chipperfield and Julian Harrap set about its restoration.

Robert Fiehn, Assistant Architecture and Design Editor at Phaidon, calls the new Neues Museum “a poetic statement on the concept of rebirth through architecture – something far more powerful than renovation alone. Many elements of the original design have been painstakingly followed, while delicate interventions from Chipperfield inhabit the old structure as a pure architectural comment on form and structure.” You can see from these photos that Chipperfield really has paid special attention to the museum’s original design, while adding his own modern touch where appropriate. The result is a breathtaking amalgam of 19th and 20th-century styles.