Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Berlin - city without form

lecture at the university of puerto rico, san juan,
15th of april 2009

lecturer: martin schwegmann, urban passion, berlin

"Berlin is the rome of the 20th century"

Berlin is a city torn between the historic reconstruction in the spirit of the innercity masterplan (planwerk innenstadt) after 1990 and temporary uses with its vibrant club culture. The titel, "berlin - city without form", is also the title of a book by philipp oswalt, the director of the bauhaus foundation in dessau. His book was written in 2001, about 10 years after the reunification. Back than it was an important counter voice to the backwards directed planning culture of berlin. He was one of the first who systematically analysed and acknowledged the underground and unplanned development in berlin. To oswalt, the urban quality of berlin lies not in its planned spaces, but much more in the overlapping and the resulting cracks of many different planing paradigms, which give berlin its harsh, yet very vivid impetus. To him berlin is the rome of the 20th century, showing all big political utopias and disasters in one big scared face.

Ten years after his book came out, the questions and concepts he brought up are still of utmost importance. The discussions are still going on and berlin is about to loose a great deal of its shapelessness - and maybe by this its unmistakable vigour. The re-erection of the castle is a new peak in brainless reconstruction. Martin Schwegmann, a witness and one of a new generation of architects, who studied in Berlin in the 90ies and is following the development for about 15 years, draws the main lines of the urban development of Berlin and gives an inside to the contemporary discourses, battle fields and glory wholes of berlins urban development.

No comments:

Post a Comment