Berlin: Verlag von Hermann Rückwardt, 1884. First edition. Hardcover. Elephant Folio (19 3/4 x 14 3/4"). 6pp., 65 plates. Original burgundy half cloth string tied portfolio over tan boards with black lettering and publisher's device on cover, protected by modern mylar. Scarce portfolio on the Architecture Competition for the development of the Museums-Insel (Museum Island) in Berlin, today considered a World Heritage Property. The competition took place 13 years after Berlin had become the capitol of Germany and made great strides to establish itself as a major industrial as well as cultural center.
The portfolio contains twenty-six of fifty-two designs from architects including the four award-winning entries, six designs acquired by the ministry, and additional sixteen designs considered to be the best among the submissions. The collection was published with the approval of the Minister for religious, educational and medical affairs, Dr. von Gossler. The designs show all facets of the 19th century Historicism with its signature high domes and halls, stairways, columns, and gables, a mix of forms modeled after Parisian and Viennese architecture. Photography and collotypes of this competition were executed by Hermann Rückwardt, a photographer and publisher. In 1876 he was appointed as the Royal Court Photographer of Wilhelm II and in 1885 Royal Bavarian Court Photographer to Ludwig II.
The accompanying text pages contain detailed guidelines for the competition with general specifications and requirements for the specific collections to be housed, e. g. space requirements for the galleries of antique sculptures, specifications for the Olympia collection separate from the general antique period, sculptures of the Christian era, a gallery for paintings, quarters for the administration, the restoration department, and staff housing.
The 26 submissions contain two to six pages each, with renderings of drawings of facades and architectural plans.
The four award-winning entries were the designs by E. Giesenberg, Berlin, Alfred Hauschild, Dresden, Julius & Otto Raschdorf, Berlin, and Fritz Wolf, Berlin. The six designs acquired by the Ministry were those of Georg Frentzen, Aachen, Hinkeldeyn & Hossfeld, Berlin, Hoffman, Dresden, H. Schmieden, Berlin, F. Schwechten, Berlin, and Oskar Sommer, Frankfurt.
The 1st price in the competition went to Alfred Hauschild. Julius Raschdorf, another winner, was one of the most recognized architects of his time; the Berlin Dome is considered his major work. After receiving one of the awards Fritz Wolff later designed the interim version of the Pergamon Museum built from 1897-1899. It was replaced by the designs of Alfred Messel from 1907 and, after his death in 1909, his closest friend Ludwig Hoffmann took on the implementation of his plans.
Among the honorees was Alfred Messel, later one of the best know architects of his generation. Messel's most famous work is the Wertheim Department store at the Leipziger Platz. Since 1907 Messel had been developing plans for the Pergamon Museum. They were realized between 1910 and 1913 with slight modifications under the supervision of the architect and city planning official Ludwig Hoffmann, one of the most revered Berlin architects.
Text in German. Binding with previous owner's inked catalog number at left top of cover and middle left edge and red stamp on title page. Covers rubbed and with front string tie torn. Light wear and age-toning along edges of plates. Portfolio in overall good+, interior in very good condition. g+ to vg. Item #40875
Starting in 1999 the Museums-Insel was restored based on the master plan of the Stiftung Preußischer Kulturbesitz. Early visions of its design were submitted during the competition of 1883/84. In 2014 the TU Berlin (Technical University) offered a seminar with the goal to reconstruct the 1883 competition based on original designs submitted by various architects at the time and develop an exhibition based on the findings in 2015 at the Academy for Architecture at the Schinkelplatz.
- Nikolaus Bernau, Hans-Dieter Nägelke und Bénédicte Savoy (Hg.), Museumsvisionen. Der Wettbewerb zur Erweiterung der Berliner Museumsinsel 1883/84, Kiel 2015.
- Becker, Heidede: Geschichte der Architektur- und Städtebauwettbewerbe, Stuttgart u.a. 1992.
- Bernau, Nikolaus: Die Berliner Museumsinsel, Berlin 2010 (2). JOACHIMIDES, Alexis u.a. (Hrsg.): Museumsinszenierungen. Zur Geschichte der Institution des Kunstmuseums. Die Berliner Museumslandschaft 1830-1990, Dresden u.a. 1995.
- Kästner, Volker: „Das alte Pergamonmuseum. Berliner Museumsbaupläne gegen Ende des 19. Jahrhunderts“, in: Staatliche Museen zu Berlin. Forschungen und Berichte 26 (1987), S. 29–56.
- Waetzoldt, Stephan: Pläne und Wettbewerbe für Bauten auf der Berliner Museumsinsel 1873 bis 1896, in: Jahrbuch der Berliner Museen 35/1993 [Beiheft].