The redesign of the Dresden Museum of Military History embraces the historical presence of Germany’s authoritarian past while also reflecting the country’s current democratic society. The structure is now the largest museum in Germany as its extension stands at five-stories tall and makes up 21,000 sqf. The existing building’s origin goes back to 1897 where it served as a Saxon armory and museum perserving the history of Soviet, Nazi, and East Germany. After more than 100 years, the front of the museum wears a new look designed by the winning sketch of an architectural competition held in 2001.

Daniel Libeskind created a design that contrasts with the original as it obstructs against the opacity and rigidity of the building with its 82-foot high viewing point that faces the specific area where the fire bombing of Dresden began many years ago. This building sets up an environment to openly reconsider societal forces and human impulses that can create a destructive culture of violence.

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