Libeskind’s addition commemorates the reopening of the war museum after a 22 year closure. The neo-classical building was originally an arsenal for the German Armed forces, so Libeskind designed the angular wedge to symbolize the grave disruption in German military history by the Nazi era.
The pointed addition extends all five floors of galleries, and adds an observation deck for visitors to take in the Dresden skyline. The transparent wedge brings daylight from all angles into each floor of the historic building and the outer shell is encased by a screen of thin steel rods, which filter in the daylight. A second, larger steel grid inside provides structural support and a distinctive pattern to the wedge. The halls and floors below the new addition are angled as well, with thin strips of skylights that leak daylight into the hallways below.
New exhibitions including the first German submarine, the Brandtaucher, built in 1850, will be shown in Libeskind’s addition, which is separated by exposed concrete from the historic galleries.