Photo: Stefan Wolf Lucks
Photo: Stefan Wolf Lucks

Neue Nationalgalerie Berlin

Modern lighting technology in the exciting space between restauration and reconstruction

Since August, 2021, the Neue Nationalgalerie glows with modern light in the heart of Berlin. In the course of the massive renovation, the lighting was also rebuilt to the highest standards, and with great attention to detail.

mawa achieved the challenging incorporation of high-quality LED technology, while retaining the original appearance of the lights.
Around 3000 lighting positions were removed from the building in various conditions, and subsequently, professionally refurbished by mawa, and upgraded in accordance with the latest technological standards.

Project Developer and Client

Stiftung Preußischer Kulturbesitz represented by the Federal Office for Building and Regional Planning BBR, Berlin


David Chipperfield Architects, Berlin

Lighting design

Arup Germany, Berlin

Project management mawa design

Daniel Frey
Alexander Mehrle
Aleksej Uthe


Stefan Wolf Lucks

Scope of services

Preparation, conversion, and restauration (partial reconstruction) in exterior and interior spaces

1578 × Wallwasher

1294 × Recessed ceiling downlights

35 × Surface-mounted ceiling lights

51 × Wall lights

2 × House number posts

Photo: Stefan Wolf Lucks

This was the case for the downlights in the coffered roof construction of the fully glazed exhibition hall on the ground floor.
The space welcomes visitors, presents a thematically varying prelude exhibition, then leads visitors down to the lower level, housing collection spaces and functional areas.

Photo: mawa design

All original illuminants from the building were replaced with a combination of LED modules, reflectors, and diffusors.
The planners placed great importance on high color reproduction and narrowly selected color consistency. This allows the lighting throughout the building to work in harmony and support the appearance of the art as authentically as possible.

Only the color temperature is deliberately differentiated. While the exhibition spaces shine in a neutral 3000 K, the adjacent spaces are illuminated in a warm white 2700 K.

Photo: mawa design
Photo: mawa design

Due to the great depth of production ability at mawa, even complex elements were able to be reproduced, such as the kick reflectors of the wall washers in the lower level.

For each and every challenge, an appropriate solution was found within a very short time. All project specific developments were tested in our in-house lighting lab, and made available to the planners and clients as sample modules.

Today, lighting is able to be precisely controlled with building automation, and the high efficiency of modern technology saves energy. Thus, this prestigious, timeless-appearing monument has been transformed into a future-oriented, cultural icon.

Photo: Stefan Wolf Lucks