2009 Berlin, Germany

The theme of the conference was ‘Concept and Project Outcomes’. We invited our speakers to tell us about their underlying idea’s, concepts and objectives at the start of their renovation process or new constructions. We were eager to hear about the course of the building process and about the necessary adjustments along the way. We asked them to share their successes and set-backs with us so that we could learn from their experiences for our own future projects. 

The 32 participants of the conference came from different disciplines and countries. Besides those working in museums there were architects, consultants and professionals in the field of lighting and security. They came from China, Russia, America and from several European countries and together they formed a lively, cosmopolitan party. The official language was English. 

We visited the German Historical Museum (including the Pei building), the Bode Museum, the New Museum and the Jewish Museum. In all the museums we found experts who were willing to share their knowledge and experience with us during presentations and guided tours. 

A recurring theme was the mingling of old and new and whether to restore or build anew. The German Historical Museum added a beautiful, serene new building by I.M. Pei to their original museum, whereas David Chipperfield solved the dilemma by transforming the heavily damaged original building to a place where old is partly restored and mingles with new in a spectacular way in the recently opened ‘New Museum’. 

Among others there was a 3D presentation on the plans with the ‘Museum Insel’ a long term project meant to connect the 5 museums on the island with a partly underground passage. There wwere presentations on the 10 year lighting project for the ‘New Museum’ and on the security issues in several of the museums. 

In the Jewish Museum we discussed the problems you are confronted with and the measures that have to be taken if you get 750.000 visitors a year instead of the expected 250.000. 

Besides presentations in the museums some of our ICAMT members presented papers about interesting developments in their own country. 

After 3 days of Berlin everybody was impressed by what we had heard and seen but also by the frank and open manner in which our speakers shared their experiences with us. They showed us that not everything was ‘all roses’ which only contributed to our learning. The conference also offered the opportunity to mingle with colleagues from other countries and professions, which lead to many a lively discussion. We can look back on a successful meeting in an enthralling city.