to main navigation

to content

to area navigation

New Architecture

Flood disaster and reconstruction: What began as a disaster turned out to be a new opportunity for the old Albertinum. In August 2002 flood water threatened the priceless museum treasures, and within a matter of hours unique paintings and sculptures had to be evacuated from the basement storerooms. This rescue mission would not have been possible without numerous helpers. The underground storerooms did not provide adequate protection for the precious cultural assets. Now a flood-proof workshop and storeroom complex hovers above the inner courtyard of the sandstone-clad building.

  • - Bild öffnet sich in einer Vergrößerungsansicht.
  • - Bild öffnet sich in einer Vergrößerungsansicht.
  • - Bild öffnet sich in einer Vergrößerungsansicht.
  • - Bild öffnet sich in einer Vergrößerungsansicht.
  • - Bild öffnet sich in einer Vergrößerungsansicht.
  • - Bild öffnet sich in einer Vergrößerungsansicht.


That, too, would not have been feasible without the assistance of generous partners. The foundation stone for the new structure and for the complete refurbishment of the Albertinum was laid at an art auction in November 2002 for which 40 renowned artists donated their own works. The auction raised the fantastic sum of 3.4 million Euros. Planning worked commenced. The total costs for the new structure and the restoration work eventually amounted to 46.7 million Euros. Through procedures conducted under the aegis of the state-owned enterprise Sächsisches Immobilien- und Baumanagement, an architectural solution was found which enabled a new structure to be built without altering or destroying the original fabric of this historic building.

The 60 metre long two-storey workshop and storeroom building, which weighs 2700 tonnes, is borne by a steel latticework structure that spans the inner courtyard like a bridge. The central space within the four-wing complex is not affected at all. With this unique and aesthetically pleasing technical solution, the architect Volker Staab and his team have succeeded in creating a flood-proof location in which to store works of art and at the same time generated a high-grade multifunctional inner courtyard. What is more, the spectacular new structure above the inner courtyard is hardly perceptible to visitors. From below it looks like a canopy and from outside it cannot be seen because it does not protrude above the roof of the building. The thoroughly refurbished exhibition halls, on the other hand, do look surprisingly new. What really is new for visitors is the entrance on the side of the building close to the Frauenkirche on Georg-Treu-Platz, and the entrance on the Brühlsche Terrasse has also changed. As before, you can turn left or right to start viewing the exhibitions, but now you can also go straight on. Then you find yourself on a kind of balcony in the inner courtyard, the ground floor of which is one storey below. The visitor also sees the display storerooms behind large panes of glass. However, the storeroom and workshop building is not visible even though the visitor in the courtyard is right under it. With the new Albertinum, Dresden’s museum architecture has well and truly arrived in the 21st century: spectacular but unobtrusive.