Tempodrom - Möckernstraße 10
Built on the site of one of Berlin’s previous main railway stations, the Tempodrom has played host to many famous musicians over the last 18 years. A capacity of 3,500 makes it a very close experience for the audience. Originally built on the current site of the German Chancellery (near Tiergarten), the music venue was moved to the location of Anhalter Bahnhof with a cost of $36 million. Alongside a music venue, the building is also home to Liquidrom, a spa and sauna featuring loud house music from a resident DJ.
Embassy of the Czech Republic - WilhelmstraßE 44
One of the relics of the GDR and Soviet Union within Berlin, the Czech Embassy has had the same use that it was originally built for. Construction begin in 1974 for the East German embassy to Czechoslovakia after being designed by two Czech architects and one German architect. The site was within a stone’s throw of the East-West border in Berlin and may have been chosen for a similar reason of scare-mongering through architecture as the Fernsehturm (read further for more info). The building is sometimes referred to as a UFO or a James Bond villain base due to its futuristic and un-characteristic angles, as well as it being raised above street level.
Fernsehturm - Alexanderplatz
Berlin’s main attraction and icon still plays the role it was originally intended for; as a television broadcast tower. Built between 1965-69, the tower still stands as the tallest building in Germany, and the third tallest in Europe at 368 metres. It was designed by the East German government to show off the economic and military power through looking like a rocket and Sputnik, whilst also being of massive scale and obscure design. With the conversion to capitalism, after the fall of the iron curtain, the building now hosts an observing deck for tourists as well as a rotating cafe. One downside to the East German’s design is that it is also referred to as the ‘Telespiegel’ (TV asparagus).
Futurium - Alexanderufer 2
The area of the German Chancellery and the surrounding museums, political buildings and transport connections is directly on the previous East-West border that divided the city. Futurium stands at the edge of the Spree river, which was a main divider between the countries. Since the fall of the wall the area has been completely flattened and rebuilt, meaning all of the buildings are contemporary and forward thinking in their structure. Futurium was designed by Richter and Musikowski and has an exterior made entirely of glass and solar panels. The building looks to the future in its construction, utilising sustainable methods of power and as much natural light as possible despite there being multiple floors. Refraction and reflection are the main processes used to bring light to the lower floors as well as the building absorbing sunlight through solar panels.
Berlin Hauptbahnhof - Europaplatz 1
Next door to our previous visit, Berlin’s new Hauptbahnhof features as one of the cities many transport centres. The construction took 11 years in total, starting with four tunnels being made underneath the Tiergarten next door to the station. These tunnels allow for long-distance trains to stop at the central station of the city without having to bypass. The internals are reminiscent to a pedestrian Spaghetti Junction, with many bridges crossing at different levels, despite this, it is still quite easy to navigate. Externally, the building features forced perspective, with strange angle that are still rectilinear. The size of the building and station underground is shown by the staggering around 136 million passengers that are estimated to pass through every year.
Tchoban Foundation - Christinenstraße 18a
The most peculiar on our visit around Berlin’s architecture, the Tchoban Foundation is a complete contrast to the traditional residential buildings in the surrounding area. The external facades are textured with architectural drawings which, together with the sand coloured concrete, are reminiscent of Egyptian hieroglyphics. The museum is also home to Tchoban architects as well as its main purpose of housing visiting exhibits of architectural drawings. The building opened in 2013 on the site of a previous brewery, the chimney of which can be seen in the background.
I hope you have enjoyed taking a look at some of the more abstract buildings within Berlin, more will follow in the future, along with more posts around obscurities and follies from my travels. Feel free to sign up to my monthly newsletter for updates on recent posts, or follow my Instagram for daily posts. Many thanks for reading!