Humboldt Forum, one of the most sensational cultural projects in the German capital, is ready for its audience. It is an ambitious center for culture, art, and science. It opened its doors this summer with a total of six exhibitions and a comprehensive opening program. During the first 100 days of operation, there has been no entry fee for visitors, which allowed many groups of society to get to know the extensive cultural knowledge of Humboldt Forum. The beginning takes place gradually, but the exhibition managers have already planned the next stage for September. All areas of the center should be fully open to visitors in the first half of 2022.
You can find the new Humboldt Forum in the rebuilt Hohenzollern palace. The architects paid particular attention to restoring the outer façade, which was designed by the Italian architect Franco Stella. Once the center is fully operational, 10,000 visitors can visit the exhibitions every day. Currently, there are only 2,400 art enthusiasts visiting per day even though the infrastructure for larger numbers is available. Humboldt Forum has large entrances, spacious rooms, and wide corridors. Some viewers recently went so far as to compare the art center to a shopping mall. After all, the interior design is somewhat similar to the broad expanse of a shopping center.
A Place for Debate
Apart from that, politicians highlighted one more function of Humboldt Forum during the opening. It is soon to be devoted to educating the masses about German colonial history, and, at the same time, it should become an arena for democratic debates, where social arguments and conflicts are set in motion to initiate compromises and understanding. It is unsurprising, because the location of Humboldt Forum has been controversial for decades.
A long time ago, the district, where the building stands today, used to be a swamp. First, there was a monastery, then the original castle. The rulers of GDR blew it up and built the Palace of the Republic. That, in turn, had to give way to rebuilding the baroque palace, which costs €100 million.
The building covers 40,000 square meters and houses four institutions under its roof. In addition to Humboldt Forum, two other museums and the Humboldt University have found a new home here. The opening of the forum had to be postponed several times due to structural reasons and later due to the global situation. However, the museum released first digital teasers in December and, for the first time this summer, visitors have the opportunity to admire the premises in person. First, the managers unlocked the doors on a total of three floors. These are the basement, the ground floor, and the first floor. In total, there will be six different exhibitions from various institutions. They will try to give the audience a first glimpse of the new culture hub of Berlin. Whether and to what extent art and culture enthusiasts will appreciate this will only become apparent next year, when Humboldt Forum runs at full capacity.