Humboldt Jungle @ TAZ

At the Berlin Castle, where the baroque façade is still missing, “Humboldt jungle” is to grow.

On Tuesday evening, the project initiators spoke to experts and representatives of the various castle initiatives about possible implementations.

Publication Seductive Image, Brigitte Werneburg, Journalist @ TAZ, Berlin, 8 July 2015


The picture, said Wilhelm von Boddien from the Berlin Palace Friends’ Association, was simply too appealing “not to feel compelled to immediately argue against it”. He’s probably right about that. The picture captivates. The “Humboldt jungle” that Frans Vogelaar and Elizabeth Sikiaridi from the Hybrid Space Lab and Uta Belkius and Notker Schweikhardt from Bündnis 90/Greens want to grow at the castle, where the baroque facade parts are missing because donations are still needed – this Humboldt Jungle could want to keep the Berliners there quickly.

However, its unrivaled attractiveness is not the reason why the plan, which was planned as a temporary project, will probably not be implemented. This was made clear on Tuesday evening by an expert discussion that was as diverse as it was prominent, in the office of the member of the House of Representatives, Notker Schweikhardt, in a summery pavilion tent on a wasteland on Kurfürstenstrasse.

The palace is a high-tech building of the 21st century, according to Johannes Wien, commercial director of the Berlin Palace Humboldt Forum Foundation, which includes four climate zones, which requires a homogeneous facade. There will be no holes for temporary greenery, the facade will grow from the bottom up. This is exactly how the plants grow, and plants also abstract the ornamentation of the baroque façade. When viewed properly, there is no contradiction at all between green and stone, which rather interpret each other in a sophisticated way. In addition, the vertical green with its plants from all over the world provided a visible reference to the palace as the location of the non-European collections from the Ethnological Museum and the Museum of Asian Art, which were previously at home in Dahlem, argued the project initiators from architecture and politics.

But especially in relation to the Humboldt Forum in the palace, the jungle of the same name is a real wake-up call. Because the integration of nature and flora is indispensable for a new and differently conceived museum concept of the 21st century. This was pointed out by Heinrich Suhr from the Stiftung Zukunft Berlin, which is considering the idea of ​​a “World Garden” at the Humboldt Forum.

Klaas Ruitenbeek, director of the Museum of Asian Art, also advocated greenery in the castle, although he could imagine it elsewhere, such as the Schlueterhof, and above all, admittedly without much hope, as he admitted, in the inside his house.

TAZ, die Tageszeitung, Brigitte Werneburg, Bestechendes Bild, 8 Juli 2015

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