Exhibition hall of the German Historical Museum
The extension, which took four years to complete, is a sparkling addition to the city’s skyline. With its dramatic, glass-walled spiral staircase, the new wing stands in sharp contrast to its neighbors, the neoclassical Altes Museum and Neue Wache, built by Karl Friedrich Schinkel. Pei called on specialists from across Europe to help construct his design: an Irish team built a special supporting framework; parts of the complex staircase were shaped in the Netherlands; he combined French limestone with North American granite and Finnish glass. In an interview with German newspaper Die Zeit, Pei put his creation in context: "The architecture should seduce people to move through the whole building full of curiosity and pleasure. I even want to tempt them to the top-most floor through ever more steps, new views." It’s Pei’s only project in Germany. Like the new glass cupola of Berlin’s Reichstag by Norman Foster, the Pei wing is expected to attract tourists with its striking design.