TCHOBAN VOSS Architekten, Sergei Tchoban - Two sides, the same story: Cold War Museum Berlin
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Two sides, the same story: Cold War Museum Berlin

TCHOBAN VOSS Architekten, Sergei Tchoban

Special Projects  /  Completed
TCHOBAN VOSS Architekten, Sergei Tchoban

The whole exhibition architecture of the museum reflects the history of the Cold War era. The motif of the "Iron Curtain" is leading from the entrance right through the exhibition spaces, even in its materiality. The colour concept also has a symbolic character. In the entrance area, visitors are greeted by a red floor and find themselves in the exhibition on the ground floor on a chessboard between East and West. An analogous material, presentation and design concept can be found on the upper floor. The walls of the staircase leading to the other exhibition areas are also covered with elaborate thematic graffiti. In the drawing above the staircase, visitors encounter the slogan "Two sides, the same story" picking up the pedagogical mission of the museum.

Centrally located between the Brandenburg Gate and the Humboldt Forum the Cold War Museum Berlin presents the different facets of the theme on two floors and more than 1,600 square metres. The high-tech museum 4.0 museum is the first of its kind in Germany. Berlin was deliberately chosen as the former capital of the Cold War. It was planned as a place, where the extensive knowledge of research and science of the last decades on the international complex of topics can be conveyed virtually and interactively to a broad public from all over the world.

In planning and implementing the exhibition architecture for the museum, particular emphasis was placed on sustainability and recycling of the original building fabric. Until August 2019, the two floors of the office and commercial building at Unter den Linden 14, where the exhibition is presented today, housed the gallery of a German automobile brand. The spatial layout of the presentation areas, staircases, galleries and access routes was largely retained, and the main part of the former fixtures was integrated into the new concept. When choosing the companies involved, attention was paid to regionality, and the materials used were tested for their sustainability.

The Cold War Museum Berlin is centrally located in Berlin-Mitte on the boulevard Unter den Linden. On two floors the High-Tech Museum 4.0 illuminates the different facets of the Cold War and makes history tangible across generations with interactive and virtual applications and selected exhibits.

To enter the museum's foyer, visitors symbolically walk through an "Iron Curtain". The design was created by the Ukrainian artist Vanda Sakhatska. The upper part is perforated with the portraits of politicians who were active in the Cold War era. The lower half shows life-size silhouettes of people united under the peace sign. In contrast to the cold, technical, industrial steel of the "Iron Curtain", the floor of the entrance area shines in bright red.

The floor in the first section of the exhibition on the ground floor is designed in a black and white chessboard pattern: as living chess pieces, visitors are thus immersed in the history of the Cold War. Contemporary documentary material can be called up on interactive monitors, while selected exhibits are presented alternately in display cases. The monitors are embedded in the walls, which are clad with coated, rust-red patinated Corten steel and which continue the motif of the "Iron Curtain" like a red thread. The patina of the material, reminiscent of ageing industrial plants, unfolds its full effect and symbolic power, especially in the interplay with the graffiti-covered wall.

The period of the "Cold War" was the time of Sergei Tchoban's youth, which had a great impact on him. It was therefore important for him to get involved in the museum and to support the project and the cultural location of Berlin with his expertise.


 CWM COLD WAR Museum GmbH, Berlin
 Museum, Exhibition
 1600 mq
 Sergei Tchoban, Stephan Lohre, Valeria Kashirina / TCHOBAN VOSS Architekten
 Lev Chestakov, Merle Kleinschumacher
 Metal construction: Dieringer Blechbearbeitung OHG, Berlin; Flooring: Sika Deutschland GmbH, Stuttgart; Carpentry work: WEIGEL GmbH, Neustadt/Siebenhitz
 Ilya Ivanov


TCHOBAN VOSS Architekten design, plan and build for national and international clients in the public and private sectors. With over 180 highly qualified, interdisciplinary employees and many years of experience, the company, with its offices in Hamburg, Berlin and Dresden, offers architecturally and functionally sustainable solutions for a wide variety of building tasks in Germany and abroad.
Sergei Tchoban is an internationally active German architect and managing partner of TCHOBAN VOSS Architekten. Tchoban studied architecture at the Academy of Arts in Saint Petersburg. He has lived in Germany since 1991 and has held German citizenship since 1995. In 2009, the Tchoban Foundation was established, which is based in the Museum for Architectural Drawing built for this purpose in 2013. In 2018, Sergei Tchoban was awarded the European Prize for Architecture by the Chicago Athenaeum Museum of Architecture and Design for his lifework

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