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Ronald

Berlin - Part one

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From friday the 13th to monday the 16th, I went on a short city trip to Berlin.

Berlin has been known to be the city with the most construction activities in Europe. After the wall came down, planners faced the task to reunite the east with the west.

Potsdamer Platz became the focus of their attention, as a large, attractive location which had suddenly become available in the center of a major European city. It was widely seen as one of the hottest, most exciting building sites in Europe, and subject to much debate amongst architects and planners. The city government chose to divide the area into four parts, each to be sold to a commercial investor, which then planned new construction. During the building-phase the Potsdamer Platz was the largest building site in Europe.

Approaching Potsdamer Platz

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The largest of these four parts went to Daimler-Benz, now part of Daimler-Chrysler, who charged Renzo Piano with creating a master plan for the new construction. The individual buildings were then built by many individual architects according to that plan. This includes the remarkable Potsdamer Platz No. 1 by Hans Kollhoff, now home to a number of prestigious law firms.

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View of the realized masterplan from a panorama terrace on top of Potsdamer Platz No. 1

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Potsdamer Platz No. 1 (left)

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The second largest part went to Sony, which erected its new European headquarters there. The new Sony Center by Helmut Jahn, an impressive, yet light monolith of glass and steel is considered by many to be one of the finest pieces of modern architecture in Berlin.

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Some aireal views of the area, these shots were taken from the panorama terrace on top of Potsdamer Platz No. 1.

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But there's more modern architecture in Berlin than just Potsdamer Platz.

The new Lehrter Bahnhof, of which I will post more pics in part two of this series, about urban transportation in Berlin.

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Modern buildings pop up everywhere in Berlin. This next shot was taken close to the Museum Island, along the river Spree.

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The Academy of Art, situated close to the Brandenburger Gate, at the Parisiener Platz.

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How it's integrated with an adjacent building.

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The next shots feature government offices and facilities near the Reichstag.

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The 4th article of the German constitution, about freedom of religion.

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Modern shopping center/ offices near U-bahn station "Zoologischer Garten"

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Near Alexanderplatz, in the former eastern section of Berlin.

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A shot of modern developments along the Spree, with the Fernsehturn in the background.

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Lastly, here are some panoramas I made.

Galleries Lafayette, an upscale indoor shopping centre.

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The Sony Center at Potsdamer Platz.

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Government offices along the river Spree.

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Hope you enjoyed, see you in part 2!

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Hope you enjoyed, see you in part 2!

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Wonderful photos, and great descriptions, thank you so much!!! Berlin is an amazing city with alot of new and old to go along with the immense history.

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i agree with Mobuchu, the pictures are great and the info for each picture is greatly appreciated.

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Terrific thread! Loved the first panorama. I also loved all the detailed information you provided along with the pics, made for an outstanding thread.

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Thanks for your reactions, everyone.

Interestingly too, there appear to be only 2 or 3 high-rises in this development, of maybe 200 - 300 ft (and still to pretty good scale), while much of the rest of it is built very much to human scale with a plethora of pedestrian level activities, gardens/parks, mid-level buildings, and social areas. It helps explain why the pedestrian activity is phenomenal. Plus, the fact that they left out all parking seems to have helped as well. Why do we struggle to reproduce this in the U.S.? Too many developers thinking with their "architectural johnsons"? Not enough comprehensive mass transit to pull this off successfully?

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