On 26 June 2019, the Board of Trustees of the Stiftung Humboldt Forum im Berliner Schloss (SHF) decided to open the Humboldt Forum in stages from September 2020. It will begin with special exhibitions, the exhibition areas on the History of the Site, the Berlin Exhibition and the rooms of the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin.
The Humboldt Forum will initially open the basement, ground floor and first floor in September 2020. There the first two special exhibitions, the exhibition areas on the history of the Site with Archaeological Cellar, Panorama Room, Sculpture Hall and Palace Cellar, the function rooms, the foyer, the passage, the Schlüter Courtyard as well as the catering facilities and shops will be accessible and permanently experienceable. On the first floor, visitors will be able to explore the Berlin exhibition by Kulturprojekte Berlin and Stadtmuseum Berlin, the section allocated to the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin and the Akademie’s working areas.
In further phases the public will gain access to the permanent exhibitions with the collections of Staatliche Museen zu Berlin and the temporary exhibitions on the second and third floors. In late 2020 or early 2021, the exhibitions in the west wing featuring the South Pacific boats and the Palau houses will be opened to the public along with those showcasing cultures and themes from Asia, Oceania and Africa. They will be followed in mid-2021 by parts of the east wing presenting cultures and themes from the Americas and other regions in Asia and Africa as well as the temporary exhibitions.
The postponement is due to defects and delays in completing certain technical facilities, especially the air conditioning and ventilation systems. The latter are largely attributable to the troubled state of the construction industry and resultant personnel shortages at the construction companies. Additionally, functional testing of some building services revealed defects in the electronic control systems. These defects are currently being rectified.
The Board of Trustees is confident that construction work and technical services, including the correction of all faults and subsequent adjustment, testing and acceptance of the building services, can be completed by summer 2020. Subsequently, internal operations can begin on a trial basis. According to the new timeline, the building will be passed by the construction authorities in late August 2020 – a prerequisite for opening the Humboldt Forum to the public in September 2020.
The competition for the construction project was held in 2008, followed by the planning stage. Construction commenced in June 2012, with work on the shell construction beginning in March 2013. Until spring 2018, the chairmanship of the Board of Trustees lay with the then Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMUB). After the new government was formed in 2018, the chairmanship was transferred to the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media (BKM). Until the building’s completion and handover, responsibility for the construction measures remains with the Federal Ministry of the Interior (BMI). Stiftung Humboldt Forum im Berliner Schloss is the owner of the building.
The Board of Trustees has fifteen members. Five of them are appointed by the German Bundestag. The Federal Ministry of the Interior, the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media, the Federal Ministry of Finance and the Federal Foreign Office each appoint one member to represent the Federal Government. The State of Berlin and Stiftung Preußischer Kulturbesitz each appoint two members. Kulturprojekte Berlin GmbH and the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin each appoint one member.
For additional information, please see: Foundation Council.