1 April 2007

Eradications, Proposals


Blurbanism ∕ Buildings ∕ Holes

A new hole in Berlin

With the sale of the so-called Spreedreieck plot of land in front of Berlin’s Friedrichstaße station, another piece of Berlin history has been wiped clean off the face of the earth. The Tränenpalast (Palace of Tears) which stood here until a month or so ago, was an important inner-city border checkpoint between East and West Germany during the cold war. After the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 it became a concert hall. In 1995 Prince played a “legendary” spontanous concert here. Plans to convert the site into a museum to the divided city and for GDR culture seem to have failed.

This is also the site of Mies van der Rohe’s 1921 revolutionary proposal for a colossal glass tower:

The Mies vision

The burning question is of course, what will be built here now? A sleek glass tower? A subtle homage to Mr van der Rohe? SLAB isn’t setting its hopes too high. With restrictive roof-height regulations, historically “sensitive” zoning laws and a Senate-level suspicion of any building material which doesn’t resemble sandstone, the odds are pretty high that Berlin will end up with another one of these:

The SLAB vision

A link:
Modern computer renderings of Mies’s Spreedreieck tower made at Hiroshima University’s Sugimoto Laboratory