Invisible security for museum visitors


James Simon Gallery


Berlin, Germany






aquatherm red pipe



The sprinkler piping system of the James Simon Gallery should not only provide security, but should also be integrated almost invisibly into light strips.


By laying in concrete, aquatherm red pipe offers an invisible protection and architectural design freedom. 

At the James Simon Gallery, modern architecture meets an innovative sprinkler system

Berlin now has a new attraction: the James Simon Gallery. The entrance building and visitor center of the Museum Island opened in July 2019 after about ten years of construction. In the area of fire protection, the planners opted for an innovative system that meets the highest safety requirements while performing its duties almost invisibly. 

The five-story building, named after patron of the arts James Simon (1851-1932) and located directly opposite the residence of Chancellor Angela Merkel, is part of the Museum Island Master Plan. The plan is to successively repair the individual houses on the Museum Island and to design the entire area according to today‘s requirements.

Designed by British architect David Chipperfield, The James Simon Gallery will serve as a central hub that includes a ticket office, information centre, cafe, shop and an auditorium that is especially for exhibitions. It also provides access to the Pergamon-museum and an entrance to the Neues Museum. After completing the master plan, an “Archaeological Promenade” will connect the building underground with all five Museum Island museums and guide the public.

The sprinkler piping system used in the James Simon Gallery should not only provide security for visitors, staff and exhibited works of art, but also merge with the gallery‘s modern architecture.

A requirement of the architect was to lay the sprinkler system almost invisibly in exposed concrete in line with the light bands. To meet these requirements, the planners chose aquatherm red pipe. This is the first plastic sprinkler piping system certified by VDS Schadenverhütung GmbH, Europe‘s largest enterprise security institute.

aquatherm’s material fusiolen® PP-R FS was developed for the special requirements of sprinkler systems and offers high safety due to its flame retardant properties and its corrosion resistance. The welding of the pipe and fittings also virtually ensures leak-free connections.

Due to the installation in the concrete, only the covers of the sprinklers, which were integrated into the light strips, can be seen in the ceiling area of the James Simon Gallery.

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