SCHWARZERARCHITECTS
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The heart of Berlin

Historical district + Palace of the Republic
An attempt


The former heart of Berlin, the historical district in the shape of the medival town, today only exists rudimentary. It extends from the museum's island to the station Alexanderplatz. The areal size is similar to the size of the historical districts of Munich or Barcelona. It has been destroyed during WWII and torn down almost completely afterwards in order to make room for a new socialist urbanism. Today it appears emptied, cut, disjointed, cold, brutal, with a few protagonists of different eras and A-roads. It is rather periphery than downtown. No stay, no stroll, no amenity value. 26 years after reunification and after years of active building operations nearby there is still no vision for this most important part of the city. There are plain regulations of the senate, called Planwerk Innenstadt, that have no other impetus than filling up the now left over spaces with 22m high blocks where possible. But there is no vision for this district in its entirety. Even more astonishing are the many ideas that were produced by architects over the years: neither concept, nor strategy, nor meaning, but some poor additions to the failed situation, at most some effect-seeking provocations. This attempt here is trying to go another way.
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