Thursday, July 11, 2013

Berlin: Disneyland for architects!

I like to think there are some impressive new buildings in Vancouver, and there are. But after five days in Berlin, I realize that there is so much more we could be doing....if only we changed our attitude towards the importance of architecture, make that Architecture; and the need for clients and patrons to be willing to spend a bit more money!

So without further ado...just a few of the buildings I noticed traveling around Berlin for the past few days. When I took these pictures, I didn't know if they were famous buildings or not...but my wife subsequently purchased a copy of Berlin: New Architecture by Michael Imhof Verlag, and I have noticed that quite a few of the buildings I photographed are indeed in his book, and in many instances, I have identified them, and the architects, etc. When I have more time, I'll try and identify the others. Until then....

I loved this's very much my aesthetic, and subsequently learned it was designed by Pei, Cobb, Freed and Partners New York 1992-96. I also subsequently discovered it looked really good at night!
This is where you arrive in Berlin if you come by train. It's the 'new' train station, designed by gmp von Gerkan, Marg & Partner of Hamburg 1996-2006. It's the biggest station within the European high-speed railway network.
The Galleries Lafayette by that famous French know who

This building was a gift from the USA. It fell down, but the Germans repaired it.

One of many examples of the blending of old and new

As noted before, this is not a's just vinyl on metal poles...

here's a detail. I suspect many people don't even notice it's not a real building

I've included this just to show that there are some ugly new buildings in Berlin. Sadly, this one reminds me of a number of Vancouver buildings

the magnificent Sony Centre

One of many examples of older buildings being encased in glass...something I thought might work for the Vancouver Art Gallery


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