Barkow Leibinger

Barkow Leibinger
Schillerstraße 94, D–10625 Berlin
T +49(0)30 315712 -0 F -29

Competition Archiv der Avantgarden Dresden

To create a home for collector Egidio Marzona’s „Archiv der Avantgarden“, recently donated to the Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden, the historic Blockhaus in Dresden is being renovated and refurbished. Initially built as a guardhouse in 1732, destroyed during the war, and rebuilt as an event hall in the 1980s, the redesign will transform it into a vibrant place for scientific exchange, allowing this vast collection of Modernist materials from the fields of art, film, literature, music, design and architecture to be experienced and researched.

 The Blockhaus will be completely gutted and have its outer shell statically reinforced. Treated as an artifact, its interior remains as visible and preserved in its present state as possible. Four concrete boxes are stacked and offset to create a free-standing sculptural architecture, forming a solid core that provides protective storage for the densely archived holdings. Beyond this central core, open platforms with work and reading areas enable fluid transitions, functional interstitial spaces and views towards the ground floor’s flexible exhibition and event spaces. The result is a spatially coherent structure — not a museum, but a transparent, lively “think tank” working atmosphere.  

An open staircase is set in a slow rotation across all floors, surrounding the core structure and allowing visitors to experience the complex space between old and new — an interplay between inside and outside, open and closed, communication and concentration. In contrast to the former courtyard, the structure’s roof will be closed with a multi-functional roof deck, offering a panoramic view over the city. 

The proposed concept leaves the landmarked exterior of the building untouched, while internally opting for a radically innovative independent design language.

Project Information


Barkow Leibinger, Berlin

Frank Barkow, Regine Leibinger



Bogdan Strugar (Project Architect),

Laurenz Berger, Christian Busch, Sophia Hannekum, Kseniia Leonovich, Andreas Moling (Model), Mengchan Shen, Robert Tzscheutschler, Francesca Zecca



Archive, Exhibition, Research, Workshops, Open Access Library





Gross floor area

4.000 qm





Sächsisches Immobilien- und Baumanagement, Dresden


Structural Engineer

Knippers Helbig, Berlin


Technical Building Services

Rentschler und Riedesser, Berlin

Fire Protection

Peter Stanek, Berlin


Landscape Architect
Capatti Staubach, Berlin


Museum Consultant

Ulrich Zickler, Zurich