18.12.2023 Valentina Grossmann

Happy Birthday, Sir David Chipperfield!

Sir David Alan Chipperfield, © Christian Werner

At the beginning of this year, the jury of the world's most prestigious prize for architecture honoured David Chipperfield and his teams in Berlin, London, Milan, Shanghai and Santiago de Compostela with the Pritzker Prize. Today there is another reason to celebrate: Sir David Alan Chipperfield turns 70. The Detail team congratulates him on his birthday.

James Simon Gallery in Berlin, DE, © Ute Zscharnt für David Chipperfield Architects

Wide range of typologies

David Chipperfield Architects was founded in London by David Chipperfield in 1985. Its diverse international body of work includes cultural, residential, commercial and educational buildings. The projects stand for clarity and reduction. Carefully coordinated materials, proportions and forms create a unity in which old and new, tradition and innovation are on a par with each other.

Architecture for the common good

David Chipperfield Architects are keen to ensure that their architecture is focussed on a higher purpose – namely the improvement of civic and public life. In most cases, they carefully renovate, transform or extend buildings steeped in history with minimal intervention. These include major architectural milestones such as the Neue Museum or the James-Simon-Galerie on Museum Island in Berlin, but also the Neue Nationalgalerie by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe in Berlin or the Procuratie Vecchie in Venice. The team is currently working on the renovation and extension of the National Archaeological Museum in Athens.

Procuratie Vecchie in Venice, © Richard Davis

In dialogue with history 

Personally, Chipperfield could not imagine another way to do a project than to start a dialogue with history. "Architects don't often have a chance to work on projects that have cultural, emotional, and social significance," he said in an interview for our Berlin book.

David Chipperfield Architects. Architektur und Baudetails/Architecture and Construction Details. 240 pages, 23 projects, edited by Sandra Hofmeister. 3rd expanded edition, Edition Detail, Munich 2022.
Neues Museum, Berlin, © Ute Zscharnt für David Chipperfield Architects
Neues Museum, Berlin, © Christian Schittich

Design and construction details 

The office's philosophy is also characterised by a constant focus on concept and detail. Design ideas are carefully refined in order to find architecturally and socially coherent solutions. Detailed documentation on 23 international projects by David Chipperfield Architects can be found in the monograph David Chipperfield Architects. Architecture and Construction Details, 3rd expanded edition, Edition DETAIL, Munich 2022. The focus is on the design and construction details of the individual projects: they bear the mark of David Chipperfield Architects' unmistakable approach.

David Chipperfield Architects. Architektur und Baudetails/Architecture and Construction Details. 240 pages, 23 projects, edited by Sandra Hofmeister. 3rd expanded edition, Edition Detail, Munich 2022.

Berlin. Urban Architecture and Daily Life since 2009. 30 projects, edited by Sandra Hofmeister. Edition Detail, Munich 2022.

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