The New Chambers (German: Neue Kammern) is part of the ensemble of Sanssouci palace in Sanssouci Park, Potsdam, Germany. They were constructed for King Frederick the Great of Prussia from 1771 to 1775.
The building, which stands to the west of Sanssouci Palace, serves as a complement to the Picture Gallery, which lies to the east. Both buildings flank the summer palace.
The chambers replaced an orangery, which had been built at that site in 1745 on plans by Georg Wenzeslaus von Knobelsdorff and held the terraces’ potted plants during the winter months. Ramps, on which the tubs were taken in and out, serve as reminders of the building’s original use.
Master builder Georg Christian Unger was commissioned to turn the orangery building into a guesthouse.
The building’s basic elements were left alone, as were its size and floor-to-ceiling french doors. The most obvious change was the addition of a cupola on the middle section. The similarities between the architecture of the New Chambers and that of the Picture Gallery are such that the both buildings can be mistaken for the other.
An orangery was the predecessor building of the New Chambers. It was built in 1747 in 110 meters in length and 6.5 meters in height according to plans by Georg Wenzeslaus von Knobelsdorffs under Jan Bouman and housed in the winter months in the seven large halls the potted plants of the terraces of the castle. Ramps, over which the heavy vessels were driven in or out, are still reminiscent of the original use of the building. The horizontal effect of the elongated single-storey on the south side only by two uniaxial sides risalite and a central risalite articulated building is by the group of figures of the central risalite of Friedrich Christian Glumebreached. The focal point is formed by a coat of arms cartouche, over which Kronos looks out, over which the globe with a ribbon with Masonic signs is located, mostly alchemical symbols of metals, alluding to Frederick the Great Freemasonry and founding the Lodge to the three globes. The sun in the radiant wreath is behind the globe with putti planted on its sides or an orange tree erected. On the right is Pomona with her horn of plenty. In 1749, between the 25 floor-to-ceiling south-facing windows on the terrace, there were 24 freestanding statues created by Italian sculptorsCarrara marble installed, which is currently located in the depot due to their poor condition. Freestanding figures in front of facades point to classicism.
The three middle-risalit window doors and side-hungal side-windows are made up of round arches with sandstone, possibly from Friedrich Christian Glume, while the remaining 20 south-facing windows have flat circular arches with three variations of stucco rocailles with flowers, fruits, shells and small water cascades the sculptor Johann Becker and Johann Böhme. All windows are floor level. The north facade, with its roof pulled low over the heating system, is not representative. Knobelsdorff had taken over this heating from the former Pomeranzenhaus of the city palace. The first detectable Orangerie in Potsdam was 1685 to 1714 under the great electorFrederick William of Brandenburg built Pomeranzenhaus in the later Marstall, today Filmmuseum. In the course of the transformation of the northern part of the Broderieparterres the pleasure garden at the Potsdamer city lock into a parade place under the soldier king Friedrich William I. it was given up. The oranges overwintered until the reign of Frederick the Great in a greenhouse in 1715 erected Marly garden and formed among other acquired during the Silesian Wars there orange trees the basis for Sanssouci. Before the Seven Years Warthe stock had grown to more than 1000 orange trees, so that more Orangeriebauten were built. Orangeries for hibernating the evergreen orange trees with simultaneous flower and fruit stalls and the mythological allusion to the apples of the Hesperides were very popular in the Baroque and had in the case of Frederick the Great because of his house Oranien originating grandmother Luise Henriette yet another symbolic reference.
The halls were arranged according to the outer structure of the building. The nearly square hall, occupying the entire building’s depth behind the middle risalit, was adjoined on both sides by two long-knit five-fold galleries. The halls of the orangery, which was empty during the summer, served as a theater for Friedrich the Great, banquet and concert hall. After the orange trees had been housed in a simple replacement building, 1771-1775 began the rebuilding of the New Chambers by Georg Christian Unger. The essential components of the exterior were retained. The most striking change was the placement of a dome with lantern on the middle section corresponding to the 1755-1763 by Johann Gottfried Büringbuilt picture gallery. Thus a symmetry to the architecture of the picture gallery was established. The last window axis of the east side was transformed into a staircase to the plateau of Sanssouci.
The actual renovation took place mainly inside. Seven guest quarters and four banquet halls were created. The late style of the Friderizianischen Rokoko found here once again its grandiose climax, although the classicism determined already largely the zeitgeschmack.
The wall and ceiling designs are by Johann Christian Hoppenhaupt the Younger, the already on the decoration of Sanssouci and the New Palace was involved. The stucco works are as in the picture gallery of Constantin Philipp Georg Sartori and Johann Michal Merck.
The real alteration occurred in the interior, where seven guest rooms and two ballrooms were created. The building is a highpoint of the late style of Frederican Rococo, even though Neoclassical style was already largely set as the prevailing taste of the period.
The guest rooms were decorated differently with lacquered, painted, or inlaid cabinets, whose costly inlays of native woods decorated the entire wall from the ceiling to the floor.
For paintings, the guest rooms have views of Potsdam, which document the town’s design under Frederick the Great and were specially commissioned for the guesthouse by the king.
The Jasper Hall
In the middle of the building, under the cupola, lies the largest room, the Jasper Room.
The ballroom’s walls are decorated with red jasper and grey Silesian marble. The same colors are found in the floor design. The ceiling painting Venus mit ihrem Gefolge (Venus with her Retinue) was created in 1774 by Johann Christoph Frisch.
Decorated panels from both antiquity and the 18th century were attached to the background of red jasper.
The Ovid Gallery
The second, large ballroom, located in the eastern part of the New Chambers is the Ovid Gallery, decorated in the style of French mirrored rooms.
On the long side of the room is a mirror stretching almost to the ceiling, across from which, on the garden side, are French doors.
Frederick asked for the walls to be decorated with gilded reliefs of the liaisons of the ancient gods, which had been told of by the Roman poet Ovid in his Metamorphoses. The room’s rich decoration comes from the workshop of the sculptors and brothers Johann David Räntz and Johann Lorentz Wilhelm Räntz.
Between 1773 and 1775, the guest rooms were first built. Three guest apartments were created from three halls. The width of the middle apartment behind the western side risalit was given by the former oval hall. The halls to the right and left of it were divided by a total of four transverse walls, two per hall, in another six apartments, three per hall. The guest rooms could vary as paint, picture or inlaid cabinets decorated whose precious intarsia the walls of the ceiling to the floor decorate native wood. To the painting equipment of the guest rooms belong Potsdamer Veduten, which document the design of the city under Frederick the Great and were specially commissioned for the guest house by the king.
Large inlay cabinet
The living room of the second guest apartment is called after the design of the wall paneling with inlays by the brothers Heinrich Wilhelm and Johann Friedrich Spindler as the large marquetry cabinet. The elaborate woodwork of this room alone should have claimed four years. Their production was started in 1772. The finish was made using various tropical and native woods such as amaranth, ebony, rosewood, mulberry and maple. The inlaid pieces of wood received dark discoloration partly due to the short-term immersion in glowing sand on the edge, which caused theInlaid received a plastic effect. Different color gradations were achieved except by the natural colors of the woods by applying wax to the surface. Details and textures were carved into the wood surface with hot needles. It shows plants, fruits, birds, hunting tools and musical instruments.
The living room of the third guest apartment leans in the design of this room. For this reason, it is sometimes called “small inlay cabinet”. The types of wood used, however, are less precious.
In front of the New Chambers, a cherry orchard was already created initially, as cherries were the King’s favorite fruit. The planting of cherry trees has recently been reconstructed.
World Heritage Site
Since 1990 the palace and garden of Sanssouci including the New Chambers has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site, called Palaces and Parks of Potsdam and Berlin.