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House of World Cultures

Berlin, Germany
1 of 15Localpedia

House of the World's Cultures (HKW) is Germany's national centre for the presentation and discussion of international contemporary arts, with a special focus on non-European cultures and societies. It is one of the few institutions which, due to their national and international standing and the quality of their work, receive funding from the federal government as so-called lighthouses of culture.

The building is located in the Tiergarten park and a direct neighbor of the Carillon and the new German Chancellery. It was formerly known as the Kongresshalle conference hall, a gift from the United States, designed in 1957 by the American architect Hugh Stubbins as a part of the International Building Exhibition. John F. Kennedy spoke here during his June 1963 visit to West Berlin. On May 21, 1980, the roof collapsed killing one and injuring numerous people. The hall was rebuilt in its original style and reopened in 1987 in time for the 750-year anniversary of the founding of Berlin. To Berliners it is also known as the Schwangere Auster (pregnant oyster). Outside the entrance, Henry Moore's heaviest bronze sculpture, Large Divided Oval: Butterfly (1985-86), stands in the middle of a circular basin. Weighing nearly nine tons, it was his final major work, completed just before he died.

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