Palast der Republik – revisited

The video is up on youtube!

A project Johan, Katja and me did on this amazing building in Berlin, the former GDR governmental building Palast der Republik. Once a great building working for the public, nowadays you’ll only find a ruin that costs the government a fortune to maintain and now demolish it.

We intensively researched on the treatment of nowadays governments with their politically flawed heritage.

Picturethat: The building was open to the public from 8 a.m. to midnight, containing a discoteque, a bowling range, several bars, cafes and restaurants, as well as stages for concerts etc.

Can you imagine going for bowling into the White house?

What a waste of perfectly working architecture and a great basis for future developments.

Not worth wasting another thought, it is over now…

Enjoy this 3d studio video we made to show the building’s past, present and crazy future


~ by aboutarchitecture on October 27, 2006.

7 Responses to “Palast der Republik – revisited”

  1. How come the Brezhnev smooch was in there? Speaking as a conservationist, I say demolish it with all haste. Sure, it’s a part of history but its far from a unique design and its location represents its regime’s outlook on historic buildings. It is offensive to its location on Berlin’s Museum Island. Either demolish it immediately or let it slowly decay to demonstrate its place in time and obvious inferiority to its surroundings.

  2. You sure have a point, especially about tge location. So do you think then rebuilding the castle is a better solution?
    I also think that there is a general issue of how do you treat buildings with a political background or a connection to a regime.
    There are still a lot of buildings in use that origin from the Nazi-era, for instance.
    How do you treat such buildngs? Even though they have spacial qualities, are they gone forever due to their heritage? Or is there a way to “clear” a building from its identity?

    And: The smooch is in there because we liked it 🙂

  3. I would not rebuild the castle (I believe they conserved a gateway for a new office building…I’m not happy about that but it is better than making a Disneyland restoration). Demolish the regime building and turn it into a park so it doesn’t molest the Cathedral and remaining sites. In terms of the Nazi-era buildings, they are history too. (Although I was under the impression that only one true-Nazi building survived in West Berlin). Nazi-era architecture was typically classically inspired and many of their designs had unique qualities. Demolish a building if it is awkward to the site and redundant in terms of existing design, but keep it otherwise as part of the visual and historical argument.
    I don’t know really but I liked your video. Cheers.

  4. Interesting that you think the building is ‘molesting’ the cathedral. I , on the other hand, think that , if the building would work the why it used to, it would actually revive the area, give it an identity and character. Momentarily (and also with a park) it’s just another undefined, vast leftover space that even more refers to a regime, only due to the absence of buildings! I think the architectural quality lies mainly in the basic idea ( a governmental building iwith public uses and it’s spacial quality) that could also be used nowadays for a cultural, mixed use building.

  5. Hello, I am a Belgian architect-student. For the moment, I am working on an essay about the big questing: how can we make from Berlin one city. There is a big difference between West and East Berlin, like you can see in the architecture and urbanism of each. On each side, there has to been made compensations to realyse one city. But I don’t think breaking down Palast der Republik was a good idea. It was nog in the first place a political building, but a cultural one. This building was very unique. It is a shame that it is (almost) gone now.
    But to go back to the essence of my message, I am looking for more information about this matter. Could you help me?

  6. Hi, I need a proper Emailaddress so I can answer, the one you posted doesn’t work. What info do you need exactly? I live in Berlin since 2000 so I know the city well. Is it about the city, about the differences between east and west form an architectural point of view, or about the Palast or GDR architecture? Just write another post with your proper Email address and i see what I can do.

  7. Hi, it is about the big question, can Berlin ever be one city again on architectural point of view. As you know, there is a big architectural and urban difference between east and west Berlin. For the moment, there are a lot of masterplans that wants to create a new centre, the centre of Berlin. But on the other hand I want to see what Berlin is doing with the most important buildings of east and west. I think that there has to be respect on both sides for each. And breaking down Palast der Republik is the worst thing that they could do.
    So in short: 1/an architectural and urban analyse of east and west Berlin and in conclusion of that analyse an answer on the question: Can Berlin ever be one city again, on architectural and urban point of view. 2/A political and social study on how the Berlin politici are looking at the architectural remainings of the DDR. In this second part, my interrest is goin to east berin, because we already know enoug about the western architecture and urbanism.
    my e-mail:
    my second e-mail:

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: