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Old Posted Jul 20, 2010, 4:00 PM
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BERLIN | Architectural Exhibition Presents Unrealized Visions of Berlin

Architectural Exhibition Presents Unrealized Visions of Berlin


By Ingeborg Wiensowski

Read More: http://www.spiegel.de/international/...707490,00.html

Berlin's state of flux has inspired architects like no other city. There have always holes in the cityscape, both metaphorically and geographically. A new exhibition presents architectural visions that were never realized. As well as showing the spirit of the times, the exhibits offer inspiration for the future. There are plenty of people who agree that Berlin is an ugly city -- especially when compared to more attractive metropolises like London, Paris or Madrid. Then again, which city has seen as much history as Berlin? No other city was destroyed to the same degree in World War II, and no other city divided afterward.

Rather than discouraging architects and urban planners, the German capital's divisive history, with all the joy and tragedy it entails, has never ceased to inspire. They have flocked to compete in architectural contests from all over the world -- and this despite the fact that most of the entries in these competitions, during all of the 20th century, could never become reality. Currently those unbuilt plans can be seen on display at Café Moskau, an appropriately historical building from the early 1960s in the city center. The exhibition, named "The Unbuilt Berlin", presents a hundred ideas from 100 architects in the form of plans and drawings. These come complete with supplementary information in respective folders, as well as 13 models created especially for the exhibition to demonstrate some of the plans.

Architect Carsten Krohn, 44, spent two years collecting the unbuilt Berlin projects from throughout the 20th century. He used the €40,000 ($51,600) in subsidies from the Capital Cultural Fund in Berlin, money set aside to enhance the culture in Germany's biggest city, to publish a wonderful catalog that documents all of the unbuilt projects chronologically, with images and text.

During the exhibition Krohn is also showing short films in which he conducted interviews with 29 architects. Among them are big names in contemporary architecture like Daniel Libeskind of the United States, Alvaro Siza of Portugal and Dutchman Rem Koolhaas, who, in 1991, famously quit the panel assessing the reconstruction of Berlin's central Potsdamer Platz because he felt the conditions that the city's administration had given for the architecture were too restrictive. Krohn even managed to get an on-camera interview with shy but venerated German architect Ludwig Leo, who gave up the profession after completing several grand buildings in the city.

Unbuilt plans from 1991 by American Daniel Libeskind for Berlin's central Potsdamer Platz.

A 1929 plan for Potsdamer Platz by German architect Martin Wagner.

Berlin's Gendarmenmarkt sqaure: For Ludwig Hilbersheimer, who taught at the Bauhaus School, this was the ideal place for his radical 1928 vision of a "commercial city," his answer to Le Corbusier's urban planning.

German architect Erich Mendelsohn's vision for a high rise on Friedrich Strasse from 1929.

German architects (and brothers) Hans and Wassili Luckhardt designed this building for exhibitions and concerts in 1948. It was to have been situated near the western center of Berlin.

In 1980, British architect Ron Herron had this vision for a new Congress Hall conference center for Berlin.

In 1993 American architect Frank Gehry came up with these plans for the redevelopment of Berlin's historic Museum Island.

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Old Posted Jul 20, 2010, 4:07 PM
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the Reichstags new dome by Norman Foster has never failed to impress me

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