The mirrored office building Cube Berlin is located on the square in the south of Berlin Central Station. The cube is 42.5 m high and just as wide and long. The glass cube was designed by the architects 3XN from Copenhagen. The folds in the facade lead to interesting reflections of the surroundings. At the horizontal bends there are hidden terraces that can be used by the tenants of the office space. There are restaurants on the ground floor to liven up Washington Square.
The Cube Berlin offers a usable area of around 17,000 square meters. The office building was opened in 2020 and belongs to the new Europacity district, which was built around the main train station.
Buildings by 3XN architects:
The Sony Center by Helmut Jahn from Chicago is an office building with a cinema center and restaurants. What is special about the complex, which opened in 2000, is the covered square and the listed imperial hall of the former Hotel Esplanade. An open roof made of glass and sails hover over the oval square. The office buildings are not connected above ground, which leaves an open space between the glass towers. The glass roof and the high openings create the feeling of being outdoors. The Sony Center looks very technical and cool, but the restaurants on the square are always well attended. In the middle of the square is a pool of water, some of which hovers over a sloping glass facade of the basement.
Buildings by Murphy / Jahn:
The Axel Springer Campus is located next to the golden tower on Zimmerstrasse. Until 1989 the site was in East Berlin and the Springer Publishing House in West Berlin. The Berlin Wall separated the two German states on Zimmerstrasse.
The new building was designed by the Office for Metropolitan Architecture OMA (Rem Koolhaas). The building serves as a digital media center and is intended to promote cooperation through its open structure and huge atrium. Journalists should be able to work together innovatively and creatively in the heart of Berlin. A path leads diagonally through the building, there are restaurants and cafes on the ground floor and there is a bar on the roof.
The key was handed over to the publisher in 2019, the opening is planned for the end of 2020.
James Simon was a Jewish cotton king who came to great wealth with his textile factories. During the Wilhelmine period, he donated large sums to Berlin museums. The Nefertiti in the Neue Museum also came from his possession. James Simon paid for the excavations in Egypt where the famous bust was found. Through a contract with the Egyptian government, he received the Nefertiti as his share of the finds. The visitor center on Berlin's Museum Island was named in his honor.
The James Simon Gallery is intended to serve as the central entrance area to relieve the museum buildings on the island. There is a cafe, the museum shop, toilets, cloakroom and event rooms, and there is an auditorium under the wide stairs. The British architect David Chipperfield designed the building. In 2019 the James Simon Gallery was opened, which was financed by the federal government. The finest materials in the interior and the narrow, sandblasted precast columns of the colonnade make the James Simon Gallery look very delicate and elegant.
The House of the Future "Futurium" is a scientific exhibition building that deals with future technologies and leads to a dialogue with the population. It is supported by the Federal Republic of Germany and several technology companies. The Futurium is a low-energy house powered by renewable energy. The building was designed by the Berlin architecture firm Richter and Musikowski, who were able to prevail in a Europe-wide competition in 2013. The Futurium was completed in 2017, it offers exhibition areas and a large auditorium for 550 visitors. On the sides, the façade consists of diamond-shaped cassette elements made of ceramic-printed cast glass, shimmering green-silver. The "Skywalk" roof is open to the public. Here you can see the photovoltaic and solar thermal system, that supplies the Futurium with energy. From here you will have a nice view over the Spreebogen to the chancellery.
The "Reichstag" (Parliament) by Paul Wallot was opened in 1894. In 1933 the Reichstag was allegedly set on fire by Dutch communists "van der Lubbe". The version of the arson attack is very unlikely, since Adolf Hitler could govern without Parliament after the Reichstag burned down. After the reunification the Reichstag was restored by Sir Norman Foster who set a new dome on the building in 1999.
The architectural firm Brandlhuber has designed its own office in a vacant lot in Mitte. In the back of the site was a ruin that was completed 2010 with little resources. On the street, a new building with slightly offset floor slabs was built. The small projections can be seen on the façade, which consists of translucent polycarbonate elements and glass surfaces. This jump of 30 cm offers rooms with different heights on each floor. The stairs are outside in the back yard, so the rooms can be freely arranged, there is no disturbing staircase in the middle. In addition, the staircase can be used as a balcony. The building is used as a gallery, office and residential building. It blends into the Berlin block structure, but differs by the translucent facade from the environment.
The residential and commercial building with an art gallery at Rosa-Luxemburg-Platz was designed by the architect Roger Bundschuh and the artist Cosima von Bonin. The building "L 40" was completed in 2010 and looks like a dark gray monolith of concrete with cut in openings.
The "Paragon Apartments" in Prenzlauer Berg have been designed by Graft architects. The residential building was constructed on the Danziger Straße in 2016 and closed the housing block of the former hospital. The 217 apartments have high ceilings and can be used by sliding doors like a loft.
The 13th-storey office building by Herman Henselmann was built in 1964. It was the first high-rise building on the Alexanderplatz and got its name from the predecessor of the Berlin Teaching Society, which was destroyed during the 2 World War. In 1919 the memorial service for Karl Liebknecht and Rosa Luxemburg took place in the "Haus des Lehrers" (teachers building). The special feature of the teacher's house is the frieze of 800,000 mosaic stones. The artwork "Unser Leben" (Our life) by Walter Womacka shows the life in the GDR.
The embassy building of the Netherlands was built by Rem Koolhaas (OMA). The architect from Rotterdam designed an extravagant house of steel, glass and concrete, with an opening that winds along the outer envelope of the building up to the roof. The embassy was officially opened in 2004 by Queen Beatrix and German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer. The building received the European Architecture Prize in 2005.
The French departement store was built in 1996 by Jean Nouvel. The completely glazed building was erected before the "Steinerne Berlin" by Hans Stimmann became mandatory for all new buildings in Berlin's Mitte district. The glass funnel in the interior, is the most stunning part of the "Galeries Lafayette".
The Frankfurter Tor is formed by two identical residential towers designed by Herman Henselmann in 1953. The two spiers are a reminiscent of the church towers at Gontard's Gendarmenmarkt. The Frankfurter Tor is part of the ensemble of the former Stalinallee, which is now called Karl-Marx-Allee. The rectangular square is surrounded by 6-storey apartment buildings that spring back from the monumental Karl-Marx-Allee and form a huge square. From Frankfurter Tor out of town, the street is called Frankfurter Allee. It is part of the federal highway 1 from Aachen to Küstrin Kostrzyn (Poland). Frankfurter Allee leads towards Frankfurt an der Oder.
The tallest high-rise building at Potsdamer Platz was erected by Hans Kollhoff in the year 2000. The former "DaimlerChrysler Building" is today known as "Kollhoff Tower", since the two car producers have separated. The red-clad tower is a reminiscent of New York high-rise buildings of the 1930s with "setbacks". The "Kollhoff Tower" is 103 m tall, on the top floor is the observation platform called "Panoramapunkt".
Buildings by Kollhoff Architects:
The concert hall of the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra was built between 1960-1963 by Hans Scharoun. The complex consists of two buildings, which stand on a white pedestal and are clad with gold-anodised aluminum panels. The curved roof forms recalls a tent roof, which led to the nickname "Circus Karajani".
The New National Gallery by Mies van der Rohe was opened in 1968. Mies van der Rohe places the building on a large base that compensates for the uneven terrain. From Podsdamer Straße you can reach the level of the exhibition hall via two wide stairs. The New National Gallery is a square shaped hall made of steel and glass. The roof rests on 8 supports that stand outside of the building. The steel structure was calculated by Frei Otto. The 64.80 m wide roof was welded together from prefabricated elements on site and raised as a whole. It was placed on provisional supports before the actual supports were set up. The entire roof was then lowered by 15 cm in order to rest on the 8 steel supports.
This great technical effort enables a column-free interior. The 3.6 m grid creates 18 x 18 ceiling fields. The exhibition space is moved two spaces inwards and has an area of 50.40 x 50.40 m. Except for the two marble-clad technical shafts, the floor plan is freely divisible and very well suited for temporary exhibitions.
The permanent exhibition of the New National Gallery, the cloakroom and other adjoining rooms are located in the basement. The glass facade is divided into a lower part with doors and an upper part with large-format glass elements. Outside there is a sculpture garden, which is below the exhibition level and is enclosed by walls.
Because of its simple and clear design language, the Neue Nationalgalerie is one of the most important buildings in modern architecture.
The New National Gallery reopened in April 2021 after renovation by David Chipperfield.
Other buildings by Mies van der Rohe:
The Jewish Museum in Berlin consists of a baroque building that used to house the administration of justice and a new building by Daniel Libeskind. The old building has a yellow plaster facade and the new building is clad with titanium elements. The inner courtyard of the old building has been given a glass roof, which was also designed by Libeskind and symbolizes the theme of the Sukkah (Arbor) with deconstructivist supports. Daniel Libeskind's concept addresses the void created by the extermination of the Jews. The building was developed in zigzag lines around these voids. The Jewish Museum opened in 2001 and is considered a prime example of deconstructivism.
The Michael Blumenthal Academy has been located across the street since 2013. It is a former flower market that was also converted by Daniel Libeskind. The entrance to the academy corresponds to the new building of the Jewish Museum. The interior follows a house-in-house concept, with the sloping walls typical for the architecture of Libeskind.
At 119 m, the "Upper West" is 20 cm higher than the opposite "Zoofenster". The design was created by the Berlin architect Christoph Langhof, the execution planning was done by Frankfurt architects of KSP Jürgen Engel. The Upper West consists of a building that has two rounded corners on the west and east sides, creating the impression of a double high-rise building. Already in 1994 Langhof designed the skyscraper, which was called Atlas Hochhaus. In 2013, the Schimmelpfeng house built in the 1950s was demolished to give way for the new highrise. The Upper West was completed in 2017 and is used as a hotel and office building. The skyscraper has a floor area of around 55,000 m² on 33 floors.
"The Waldorf Astoria Hotel" Berlin was opened in 2013 in the "Zoofenster" tower. The 118.8 m high hotel by Christoph Mäckler from Frankfurt is currently the third-highest high-rise building in the Berlin. There are 232 rooms on 32 floors of the Waldorf Astorial Hotel, office space and shops are located on the pedestal floor. For the construction of the "Zoofenster" the monument-protected "Schimmelpfeng" house was demolished. The ten-storey house from the post-war period had overlaid the Kantstraße and obscured the view on the "Gedächtniskirche". The construction of the "Zoofenster" was started in 2008.
The Kaiser-Wilhelm-Memorial Church was destroyed during World War II and was rebuilt by architect Egon Eiermann between 1959 and 1963. Eiermann wanted to demolish the ruins, but after protests of the people, the ruins were preserved. Eierman designed a new octagonal church with a freestanding tower next to the historic church.
The Tempelhof Airport was the largest building in the world, after its completion in 1941. The 1.2 km long building was designed by Ernst Sagebiel. In 2008 the airport was closed, with only 350,000 passengers per year. A new airport for 25 million passengers is under construction south of Berlin. The empty field "Tempelhofer Feld" is now used as park.
The new urban settlement of Bauhaus architect Walter Gropius was built between 1962 and 1975. The apartments were built for working class and people with low income. Therefor the "Gropiusstadt" with it's 35,000 inhabitants, is regarded as a hot spot for social conflicts. Originally the houses should be only 5 storeys high, but that has been changed to solve the housing problems of Berlin.
Buildings by Gropius:
The "horseshoe settlement" by Bruno Taut and Martin Wagner was completed in 1933. The center of the settlement is a horseshoe-shaped row of houses with a pond in the green center. Bruno Taut's trademarks were cobalt blue walls, red and yellow were also used in the interior. The "Horseshoe Settlement" is officially called Großsiedlung Britz and is located in Berlin's Neukölln district. The Berlin settlements of the Weimar Republic were declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2008. The Berlin Modernist Settlements took up the ideas of the Bauhaus and were modeled on Dessau-Törten, the Weißenhofsiedlung in Stuttgart and the housing estates of Ernst May in Frankfurt am Main.
Unesco World Heritage also includes the Siemensstadt settlement in Berlin-Spandau, the Schillerpark settlement in Berlin-Wedding, the residential town of Carl Legien in Berlin-Prenzlauer Berg, the "White City" in Berlin-Reinickendorf and the Garden City Falkenberg in Berlin-Grünau (Treptow).
The "Corbusierhaus" was built in 1957 as part of the "InterBau". The residential building of Swiss architect Le Corbusier offers 530 residential units. Apart from the one-room apartments, all housing units have two levels (maisonette). The "Unité d'habitation" is acessed by 130 m long corridors, the "rues intérieures". Unlike the "Unité d'habitation" in Marseille, the house in Berlin has no accessible roof landscape. The building is about 141 m long, 23 m wide and 53 m high.
Buildings by Le Corbusier:
The Berlin Olympic Stadium was built for the 1936 Olympic Games. The fascist rotunda was designed by the Berlin architect Werner March. On the property was already the German stadium, which was designed by Otto March, the father of Werner March. Adolf Hitler used the Olympics in Berlin for propaganda in order to demonstrate to his own people the greatness and determination of the National Socialist movement. The Olympic Stadium served this purpose and, with 100,000 spectators, was one of the largest stadiums in the world. For comparison, the largest stadium of today, has room for 114,000 visitors (Pyongyang). The stadium is located halfway in the ground, only the upper ring is visible from the outside and covered with shell limestone. The roof of the Olympic stadium was built for the 2006 FIFA World Cup by Gerkan, Marg and Partner.
Architecture in Berlin
The architectural guide of Berlin shows the most interesting buildings that originated in 1900 in the German capital. The buildings are sorted by districts. Older buildings of importance are to be found under sights Berlin.
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