A Treasure Room in the Middle of the City
In 2011, the Humboldt Box – a temporary information pavilion located on Berlin's Schlossplatz square – was opened to inform the public about the construction and future use of the Humboldt Forum over a period of at least five years. TRIAD Berlin and KSP Engel & Zimmermann submitted a joint proposal.
The key element of the concept is a double-walled facade with a golden outer coat that makes the building resemble a kind of treasure chamber. Three sides of the building are covered by communication surfaces made of LED strips and lights. Measuring almost four meters in height, the surfaces can be used to display abstract motives that form coherent images when viewed from a distance or to show what is happening inside the building. The partially transparent southwest facade allows visitors to watch the construction progress. The exhibition inside the cubic building sheds light on indigenous cultures from other continents. A broad staircase and split-level exhibition floors that are arranged around a light shaft invite visitors to get a glimpse of Berlin's unique collections and the construction plans for the Humboldt Forum.
The spatial arrangement suggested in the concept creates visual links between the different floors and, thus, emphasizes the dialogue between cultures. The joint proposal submitted by Triad Berlin and KSP Engel & Zimmermann for the construction and operation of the Humboldt Box on Berlin's Schlossplatz square was narrowly defeated by the winning proposal.