7 October 1969. High above the representational void at the heart of the bombed city, the Telecafe at the top of the TV tower is set in rotational motion. This celebratory carousel of solo entertainer with organ and some selected guests draws out first circles around the representational center of a fledgling republic in honor of its 20th anniversary.
It is the architectural equivalent of the refrain as a strategy of place making: “A refrain…is like a song that creates the beginning of order in chaos – as in a child singing in the dark…the beginning of the refrain is fragile. Next, a refrain creates a territory, an organization of a limited space with a circle drawn around it.” 1
Centripetal forces of the first refrain soon draw others – circular follies as markers of places and commerce: the C&A sign, the Weltzeituhr, the Berliner Verlag, a spinning display of rare Döner meat, the rings of Saturn, the spiraling logo of Media Markt.