Is time of another Archivibe Educational Tour! On Thursday 11th May, during Berlin Design Week 2023, from 13.30 to 20.00 we will be visiting some prominent architectures and offices with the architects of some of the most influential architecture firms in Berlin to discover their ethos and their commitment to create a better built environment.
One of the architecture we will be visiting is The Museum for Architectural Drawing designed by Sergei Tchoban.
The Museum for Architectural Drawing is a private museum run by the Tchoban Foundation. It was opened in June 2013.
Three to four exhibitions are shown each year, made up of drawings from the Tchoban Foundation’s collection and from works on loan in cooperation with other museums and institutions.
From 4 February 2023 to 14 May 2023 the exhibition in collaboration with the Fondazione Aldo Rossi in Milan, presents Aldo Rossi.Insulae over 110 works by the architect, most of which are being shown publicly for the first time.
Architecture of The Museum for Architectural Drawing
The Museum for Architectural Drawing appears as a four-storey solid corpus topped by a glass penthouse. It latches onto the fire-wall and a row of typical old Berlin houses, its profile suggesting a casual pile of building blocks. The silhouette is created by a regression and progression of façade elements, demonstrating a freedom of form that pays lip-service to the conventions of neighbouring historic buildings while maintaining its own unorthodox and minimalist stance.
The glass volume protrudes out several meters over the north-east side of the building so that its polished steel soffit mirrors the square below. The lower floors form bays which jut out at different angles over the street and square. A glazed loggia above the entrance niche is the only transparency allowed through the concrete façade apart from the polygonal window openings that have been cut into the relief work of the ground floor and rear staircase walls.
The museum building occupies an advantageous position at the end of a row of houses on Christinenstrasse that allows it three free sides. The front square of the former industrial site is transformed into an open entrance courtyard. The coloured concrete and glass façades of the building are rich in contrast and layers.
The sculptural design of the concrete, its structural qualities and the method of construction give the building its unique appearance. Its closed surface is detailed with reliefs of magnified fragments of architectonic sketches which suggest the aims and uses of the exhibition spaces and archive within.
Each storey is treated with its own identical graphic element in a repetitive rhythm, while some façade surfaces are marked with vertical fluting to give the impression of yet another layer of hatched graphic lines. In the interior of the museum, design motifs from the façade reappear and manifest themselves in the building’s design code, right down to the original door handles.
An understanding of the whole building is made clear through the articulation of its parts aided by the consistent graphic concept. Nevertheless, the special requirements associated with exhibiting small, often monochromatic, art works remain in the foreground of the design strategy.
All exterior walls of the Museum for Architectural Drawing are of load-bearing waterproof in situ concrete. External walls comprise a 27 centimeter thick concrete core, a 10 centimeter insulating layer of foam glass and an 11,5 centimeter sand-lime brick inner wall finished in 1,5 centimeter lime cement render.
The inner leaf serves to regulate humidity by successively absorbing and releasing moisture, whilst the outer concrete leaf core is practically impervious. The façade has been designed with a relief based on historical architectural drawings, applied across the structural matrices of the exposed concrete. The drawings were digitalized and graphically edited in a free repetitive rhythm to form new images. The images were then carved as positive incisions onto fiberboard with a CNC cutter.
Positive forms were cast with liquid acrylic to produce the negative form of the façade motif. This was glued to an extra layer of chipboard fixed to the regular mould casing system. When the complete casing was set up, the edges were sealed with silicon. After casting, the exterior shuttering was struck first, followed by the chipboard with the matrices. The positions of the ties were carefully organized in relation to the motifs. After stripping the shuttering, the holes for the ties were filled with colour-matched fibre cement. Each floor was cast without interruption so as to avoid variations within a level. Extra attention was given to changes in weather so that optimal results could be achieved.
The walls of the façade and the staircase meet the SB4 standard for exposed concrete. Each storey has its own pictoral composition which is developed around its façade. In order to protect the raw concrete from dirt and graffiti, all exterior and interior walls have been treated with a nano coating. The staircase treads and the undersides of the platforms are finished in prefabricated black through coloured concrete and walking surfaces are treated with screed of a matching colour.
The specification for the museum’s façades was chosen to comply with the most stringent energy saving regulations while meeting criteria for conservation in museums according to ASHRAE guidelines. The combination of an impermeable outer leaf of in-situ concrete with diffusion-tight insulation and an inner leaf of sand-lime brickwork finished with permeable render balances changes in temperature and humidity, thus maintaining prescribed conditions with minimal expenditure of energy.
This construction creates an exhibition space in which the temperature and humidity levels are mainly influenced by factors such as lighting and visitors. Thus the air conditioning system can be run with a minimal air-change of 3 to 7 times the volume of the space per hour (8 to 12 times is the average for museums) and can be run to a large extent without a reserve for extreme weather conditions. Additionally a ceiling heating and cooling system supports the internal environment thus satisfying the conservation requirements outside of visiting hours without the need for air-conditioning. By fine-tuning the system the museum can run with maximum environmental control and minimum energy expenditure. The latter is estimated to be approximately 240 kWh per year.
At the end of 2009, the Tchoban Foundation was founded with the aim of promoting the art of architectural drawing. While just a generation ago, the acquisition of skill in drawing was still fundamental to the formation of architects, such skills play no significant role today, whether in architectural instruction or in professional practice. In the 21st century, virtually no architect seeks to persuade clients of his capacities as a designer by means of sketches or perspective views. Today, a handmade drawing is hardly required for the realization of an airport, an item of designer furniture, a football stadium, or a façade. For the majority of younger architects, the ability to produce hand drawings is simply not an issue. Yet even now, the development and training of the ability to invent forms and proportional schemas flows through ideas that are conveyed via drawing by hand. Talent and training were the pillars upon which the art of drafting rested well into the 20th century. It is at this point that the Tchoban Foundation intervenes with its attempt to reawaken an interest in architectural drawing. The Foundation plans to promote classical training in draftsmanship among talented young architects, and will be making the founder‘s considerable collection available for study purposes. Besides which there is a huge library on architectural drawings on the ground floor which enables experts and visitors to find out more about the art of drawing. A second explicit aim of the foundation, however, is to present the imaginative and emotionally-charged world of the architectural drawing to a broad public through events and exhibitions at the Museum for Architectural Drawing and at other well known museums worldwide. Together with the founder Sergei Tchoban, Dr. h. c. Kristin Feireiss and Dr. Eva-Maria Barkhofen, two experts highly esteemed in and beyond their specialised fields, form the curatorship of the foundation.
Architect: Sergei Tchoban
Project partner and project leader: Philipp Bauer, Ulrike Graefenhain Team: Nadja Fedorova, Katja Fuks, Dirk Kollendt
Cooperation: Sergey Kuznetsov
Landscaping: atelier 8 landschaftsarchitekten, Berlin
Structural engineering: PPW Dipl.-Ing. D. Paulisch, Berlin
Building equipment: Planungsbuero Thye, Berlin
Lighting design: Kardorff Ingenieure, Berlin
Façade: MBM Konstruktionen GmbH, Moeckmuehl
Graphic design Façade: Heimann und Schwantes, Berlin
Façade consultant (design stage): Priedemann Fassadenberatung GmbH, Grossbeeren
Exposed concrete: BSS Beton-System-Schalungsbau GmbH, Berlin
Matrix fabrication: Reckli GmbH, Herne
Interior work: Lindner AG, Arnstorf
Carpentry: Tischlerei Hollenbach, Berlin
Fittings: Wilking Metallbau GmbH, Berlin
Elevators: Tepper Aufzugsanlagen GmbH, Muenster
Consulting: Kristin Feireiss, Hans-Juergen Commerell, Berlin
Art conservation consultant: Eva-Maria Barkhofen, Berlin
Photography: Roland Halbe and Patricia Parinejad