The Stiftung Exilmuseum Berlin was founded in 2018 as a civic initiative. It is under the patronage of Nobel Prize winner Herta Müller and former Federal President Joachim Gauck. The Foundation's aim is to establish a museum on the subject of exile 1933-1945 at a central location in Berlin. In addition to conveying the historical theme, the museum is intended to "make the content of the word exile comprehensible" (Herta Müller) and to point out the relevance of the topic in our present day.
Thanks to the great support for this project from the public, politics and administration, the location of the future Exile Museum will be on the district's own property in the vicinity of one of Berlin's important architectural monuments, the portal ruins of the former Anhalter Bahnhof on Askanischer Platz.
The site is highly symbolic of the theme of exile, as thousands set out from here to flee abroad from persecution by the National Socialists. At the same time, as a later deportation station, the place also stands for the fate of those who were no longer able to escape. In the future museum, the life stories of the emigrants* will be made tangible, historical backgrounds explained and the view will also be directed to the present.
For the realization of the museum building, the Stiftung Exilmuseum Berlin has launched an international architectural competition as an invitation-only competition, which will be carried out in coordination with the Senate Department for Urban Development and Housing, Berlin and the district of Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg. The search is for a convincing architectural concept that meets the requirements in terms of content, space and design as well as the high urban development and monument protection standards of the location. An important point of reference for the emerging architecture in the competition area is the portal ruin of Anhalter Bahnhof, which is to be preserved. Approx. 3,500 m2 of usable space is planned for the museum purposes. In addition, rooms for leisure and cultural uses with an area of approx. 700 m2 are to be created, which can be used by third parties and for district purposes and will be developed separately.
Nine architectural firms participated in the competition and submitted their designs.