Contemporary Architecture in Modern Berlin







You will find some wonderful examples of contemporary architecture in modern Berlin. The best that I found include:

Kaiser-Wilhelm-Gedachtnis-Kirche, Breitscheidplatz hp: The original church was bombed and severely damaged during WWII. The architect, Egon Eiermann, adapted the original tower into a memorial chapel and built a new church and bell tower to go with it. The interior is really interesting with its wonderful blue windows.

Holocaust Memorial, Stresemannstrasse 90: This is a memorial to the murdered Jews in Europe. It is located near the Brandenburg Gate across from the American Embassy. It was designed by Peter Eisenmann and unveiled in 2005. It consists of 2,711 tightly packed monoliths that fill an entire block.

DZ Bank, Pariser Platz 3: Nearby the Holocaust Memorial, the Brandenburg Gate and hotel Adion, is Frank Gehry’s first building in Berlin. The exterior is very plain, but the interior atrium has a curving fish-like form in glass, wood and metal that is great to see!

Philharmonie, Herbert-von-Karajan-Strasse 1: The Philharmonic Hall is one of the world’s most renowned concert spaces. It was designed by Hans Scharoun who was a product of the Bauhaus generation. It was completed in the 1960’s. The Philharmonic was not in residence but I was able to catch a concert by the Berliner Symphoniker. They have a series of Sunday afternoon concerts in the Philharmonie. This is a must see on your trip to Berlin.

Neu Nationalgalerie, Potsdamer Strasse 50: This attractive minimalist building, with its flat steel roof over a glass hall, is one of Mies van der Rohe’s masterpieces. Most of the exhibitions are below ground. It has a nice restaurant and is near the Philharmonie.

Jewish Museum, Lindenstrasse 9-14: This is a very striking building designed by Daniel Libeskind in 1999. It has a titanium-zinc skin lasered through with oblique openings and voids and acutely angled interiors. The jagged structure of the museum is likened to a deconstructed Star of David.

Sony Center, Potsdamer Strasse 2: Designed by German-American architect Helmut Jahn, this is Berlin’s most exciting architectural complex. It has a wonderful tent-like roof that covers the complex of offices, apartments, restaurants, movie theaters and some shops. Check out the other architecture of Potsdamer Platz while you are there. The entire area is a bustling entertainment area.

Reichstag, Platz der Republik: This was by far my most favorite building. It was built to house the German parliament but was was destroyed by fire in 1933. Rebuilding occurred between 1957 and 1972 with the dome removed. After German reunification it became the home of the German Bundestag and was transformed in 1999 by Sir Norman Foster who created a modern meeting hall crowned by an elliptical dome with a viewing gallery. This dome is really wonderful and is not to be missed. Be prepared for long lines. If you have a reservation for the restaurant then you can bypass the lines… according to friends. Due to security you may have to have advance reservations to enter the building. Check before you go.

Marie-Elisabeth Luders House: This is right across from the Reichstag and is one of the government buildings. It has a great design.

The HUGO store by HUGO BOSS, Rosenthaller Strasse 49, has  great design. It was down the street from my hotel.

Bauhaus-Archiv, Klingelhoferstrasser 14: Not too far from Potsdamer Platz. The Bauhaus school of art, started by Walter Gropius in 1919, was one of the most influential art institutions of the 20th Century. The group believed that art and technology should combine in harmonious unity. The school provided inspiration for Mies van der Rohe, Paul Klee, Wassily Kandinsky and Laszlo Mohly-Nagy. The Archiv in its attractive contemporary building, houses a library and exhibition halls which features displays on the history as well as displays of furniture other objects. There is a nice café to take a break from all of  your walking.

Opened in early 2017 is Pierre Boulez Saal, a new concert hall designed by famed architect Frank Gehry. It is home to the Barenboim-Said Akademie and features over 100 chamber music concerts throughout the year.