FROM CASTLE TO CASTLE
Architectures by the Spree river in Berlin, between the Bellevue Castle and the re-built Berliner Schloss
“From Castle to Castle” is an attempt to understand and describe the identity of Berlin, if such a thing can be said to exist. The photos of this project, shot during the course of 2018, focus on the development of the architectural landscape along the river Spree, in the stretch running from the Bellevue Palace to the Berliner Schloss. This first leg of this imaginary journey, starting from the Bellevue Palace in the West, brings us to the government district, an area which was first developed in the ‘60s and ‘70 and was then completed after the fall of the Berlin Wall. Here there many of Berlin’s most iconic buildings, such as the Reichstag, the Kanzleramt and the Haus der Kulturen der Welt. They are isolated buildings, thought as symbolic elements of the city: a kind of recognizable landmarks of the “new”Berlin.
Moving eastwards we find ourselves in an area with a completely different architectural approach, where new buildings, many of which are still constructions sites, show a stronger relationship with the surrounding historical monuments such as The Altes Museum, the Berliner Dom, the Alte Nationalgalerie: the Museum Island. This part of the city-centre maintained a stronger historical identity after the World War II.
Between these two areas, there is a part of the city which seems to be looking for its own identity. Old industrial factories are sitting next to a criss-cross of un-built lots and prefabricated residential buildings. It is here, in the strecth between Hauptbahnhof, Friedrichstrasse and the Tiergarten, that in the last few year a new specie of architecture has developed: made by infinitely repeated vertical modules, these constructions can adapt to any type of surroundings and have the peculiar features of refusing any dialogue with the history that surrounds them, while also not having a monumental appearance by themselves.
The journey ends at the Berliner Schloss, a building which, with its controversial identity, is one of the most stimulating and interesting architecture of the city. The still under-construction new Berliner Schloss is being built upon the blueprint of what the palace once looked like at the beginning of the twentieth century, despite the fact that between 1976 and 1990 its place was taken by the Palast der Republik, a rationalist building seat of the DDR Parliament and now demolished.
The Berliner Schloss represents one of the most criticized attempt to find an historic-architectural identity of Berlin, looking back to the XIX c., as if the XX c. were to be forgotten. It is new but old, a reconstruction of something that existed far on time.
LIST OF MAIN BUILDINGS
13- Jakob und Wilhelm Grimm Zentrum. Arch. Max Dudler, 2009
14- Friedrichstrasse Train Station. 1882
15- Forum MuseumInseln. Arch. David Chipperfield, 2018
16- Pergamon Museum. Friedrich August Stüler, 1855
17- German Historical Museum. I.M Pei, 2003
18- Am Kupfergraben 10. Arch. David Chipperfield, 2007
19- Neues Museum. Arch. Andreas Schütler, 1856 / Arch. David Chipperfield, 2009
20- Alte Nationalgalerie. Friedrich August Stüler, 1876
21- Altes Museum. Arch. Karl Friedrich Schinkel, 1845
22- Berliner Cathedral. Johann Boumann, XVIII c. / Arch. Karl Friedrich Schinkel, 1822
23- New Berliner Schloss - Humboldt Forum. Arch. Franco Stella, in construction
1- Schloss Bellevue. Arch. Philippe Daniel Boumann, 1786
2- Anne Franck Grundschule. Günther Lüttich, 1935 / Marion Drews, 1999
3- The Snake. Arch. Georg Bumiller, 1999
4- Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Arch. Hugh Stubbins, 1957
5- Kanzleramt / Paul Löbe Haus / Marie Elisabeth Haus. Arch. Stephan Braunfels, 2001/200
6- Firemen and Police Station. Arch. Sauerbruch Hutton, 2004
7- Bertha Berlin. Arch Barkow Leibinger, 2016
8- Bundesministerium des Innern. Thomas Müller / Ivan Reimann Architects, 2015
9- Berlin Hauptbahnhof. GMP Architects, 2006
10- Kronprinzenbrücke. Arch. Santiago Calatrava, 1992
11- Swiss Embassy. Extension: Diener & Diener Architects, 2000
12- Reichstag. Paul Wallott, 1894 / Foster's & Partners, 1999