Technical: Neue Nationalgalerie in Berlin, restored by David Chipperfield Architects

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‘Surgical’ €100m, decade-long project had to tackle flaws in Mies’ original design

“To be honest we can’t really win here; all we can do is make a mistake,” said David Chipperfield at last week’s ceremony marking the completion of his €100m restoration of Mies van der Rohe’s modernist icon, the Neue Nationalgalerie in Berlin.

“If we don’t make a mistake no one will know. If we do our job perfectly no one will know what we have done. The only time we’ll be recognised is if we make a mistake.”

That slightly miserablist take is not quite true, of course. At that very moment Chipperfield was part of an event being live-cast around the world at which the other speakers heaped praise on his work.

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