Take 17th century baroque, add contemporary architecture, with the likes of Daniel Libeskind (Jewish Museum), Rem Koolhaas, Renzo Piano (Potsdam square) , Helmut Jahn (Sony Centre), Frank Gehry, put in some Classicism, season with Bauhaus with work by Mies van der Rohe, mix in some Norman Foster (Reichstag), give a good stir, what do you get? Berlin!
This showpiece of architecture started very small, as a settlement at a ford in the river Spree more than 800 years ago. Today it is a city almost 9 times the size of Paris (intra-muros), embellished, in the last 25 years, by works of almost all of the great names of contemporary architecture. Besides those mentioned above, enjoy the works of I.M. Pei, Richard Rogers, Santiago Calatrava, Jean Nouvel, Rafael Moneo, Hans Kollhoff, gmp, Nicholas Grimshaw, Michael Wilford and the list doesn’t end here!
WWII, dire as it was for the city, was seen as an opportunity by classic modern architects to create a totally modern city, uninhibited by an inherited city plan: in many places it was gone! With the beginning of the Cold War joint planning for the city ceased, leading to two very different options: Stalinist architecture in the East, 50ies modernity in the West. Reunification brought yet another opportunity to fill empty space, this time the no-man’s land created by the Wall. The difference to other cities: this development happened not on the outskirts but right in the very centre! Typical for this period are Potsdamer Platz (Potsdam square) and the Government and Parliament buildings adjacent to the Reichstag.
Join us on a fascinating outing featuring the practical, the beautiful, the exuberant, the bombastic and ultimately the outright bizarre!