Berlin Contemporary Architecture Guide

The first time I came to Berlin was in 2006. I always had a fascination with the city and its history and always had the goal to one day live there. It eventually happened in 2008 when, after finishing my Master studies, I got my first job in Berlin. As any new architect, I was working long hours but loving every minute of finally living in the German capital.

With time the excitement waned, but the happiness of living is such a fantastic city always remained. Since then I’ve been coming back and forth between Beijing and Berlin, two cities entirely different, but equally fascinating.

Now I decided it was time to write a little guide about its architecture. It proved a daunting task though as there is just so much interesting architecture around. Therefore, I decided to split this guide into several parts, grouping building in specific important regions or interesting routes.

1. Between East and West Berlin

The Reichstag
The Reichstag by Foster+Partners

An excellent way to start the exploration of Berlin’s most impressive architecture and most famous sights. It is a walk along the former Berlin Wall line: you’ll start at the Central Station from gmp, pass through great landscape architecture along the river Spree, crossing important government buildings including Norman Foster’s Reichstag. Further south, past the Branderburger Gate, you check Gehry’s DZ Bank, next to Behnisch & Partner’s Academy of the Arts. Finally, crossing through the Academy towards south you’ll end in Peter Eisenman’s incredible Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe.

Go check it out >>

2. The architecture of reunification: Potsdamer Platz and Kulturforum

Potsdamer Platz
Potsdamer Platz (photo by Ansgar Koreng)

Although a continuation from the previous chapter, I decided to dedicate a full chapter to these two areas. They not only carry an incredible history but also house important projects from great architects. Here you’ll find buildings from Renzo Pino, Richard Rogers, Helmut Jahn, Le Corbusier, Hans Scharoun, among others.

Go check it out >>

3. Friedrichstadt

Schützenstrasse Quartier by Aldo Rossi
Schützenstrasse Quartier by Aldo Rossi (photo by Jean-Pierre Dalbéra)

Going east and following Friedrichstrasse from north to south, you’ll find buildings from Nouvel, Sauerbruch Hutton, Renzo Piano, Daniel Libeskind, and even an unexpected early building from Zaha.

coming soon…

4. Alexanderplatz and Museum Island

Neues Museum by David Chipperfield
Neues Museum by David Chipperfield (photo by Jean-Pierre Dalbéra)

In the heart of former East Berlin, you’ll find contemporary jewels such as Max Dudler’s Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm Centre, David Chipperfield’s Neues Museum, I.M. Pei’s Deutsches Museum, alongside icons of East Berlin’s architecture, such as the TV Tower and the buildings along Karl Marx Allee.

coming soon…

5. Modernism in Berlin

Walter-Gropius-Haus in Hansaviertel
Walter-Gropius-Haus in Hansaviertel

Berlin served as home for a prolific modernist scene before and after the Second World War. Some great examples include the Hansaviertel, with buildings from Oscar Niemeyer, Walter Gropius, Le Corbusier, among others.

coming soon…

6. Throughout the city

Philological Library
Philological Library by Foster+Partners

The abundance of interesting architecture in Berlin makes it hard to split it all into sections. This last chapter points to some other significant buildings worth visiting while in the city.

coming soon…

Map

This map contains all buildings mentioned in the chapters above. Black icons are mentioned in the articles, while gray ones are further recommendations (direct link):


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Berlin Contemporary Architecture Guide - TFA

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