The castle and its square have been an important reference for city life in Berlin since the 15th century. The construction of new parts, the addition of ornamentation, the expansion of this building, coincide with the desire to show the political and economic power of various successive rulers over the years. With the fall of the last emperor, the castle momentarily ceased to host political power and became a museum or office building in the Weimar and Nazi era. In the new socialist era, in addition to the damage of the Second World War, an annihilating political choice was added: removing the remains of the castle and renaming the square as Marx-Engels-Platz, destined to host large mass demonstrations. In 1976 the new Palace of the German Democratic Republic was inaugurated there, conceived both as a political seat and as a place for popular socialization, a sort of expressionist Stadtkrone. The fall of the Berlin wall was followed by years of looting of the furnishings and socialist political symbols, while the fate of this building was debated. The presence of asbestos in the structure, but mostly its cumbersome memory for the new united Germany, first decreed a partial dismantlement of the Palace for decontamination and then its total demolition, amid protests from GDR nostalgics and proposals to replace it with another building more suited to the Federal Republic of Germany. Already in 1994, the area had been renamed Schlossplatz and in 2002 the Parliament voted to re-erect a castle, with original shapes and a cultural destination. The project for the new Berliner Schloss-Humboldt Forum was conceived by Franco Stella and carried out between 2013 and 2020, mediating between reconstruction and reinvention. The political purpose that can be glimpsed is the recovery of a historical German national identity beyond the twentieth-century divisions and the projection of Berlin - and of Germany as a whole - in a cosmopolitan dimension, no longer in a colonial sense, but in preserving a shared cultural heritage

Architecture and political powers in Berlin: from the Imperial Castle to the Palace of the German Democratic Republic, to the Cultural Forum of the Federal Republic

Claudia Lamberti
2022

Abstract

The castle and its square have been an important reference for city life in Berlin since the 15th century. The construction of new parts, the addition of ornamentation, the expansion of this building, coincide with the desire to show the political and economic power of various successive rulers over the years. With the fall of the last emperor, the castle momentarily ceased to host political power and became a museum or office building in the Weimar and Nazi era. In the new socialist era, in addition to the damage of the Second World War, an annihilating political choice was added: removing the remains of the castle and renaming the square as Marx-Engels-Platz, destined to host large mass demonstrations. In 1976 the new Palace of the German Democratic Republic was inaugurated there, conceived both as a political seat and as a place for popular socialization, a sort of expressionist Stadtkrone. The fall of the Berlin wall was followed by years of looting of the furnishings and socialist political symbols, while the fate of this building was debated. The presence of asbestos in the structure, but mostly its cumbersome memory for the new united Germany, first decreed a partial dismantlement of the Palace for decontamination and then its total demolition, amid protests from GDR nostalgics and proposals to replace it with another building more suited to the Federal Republic of Germany. Already in 1994, the area had been renamed Schlossplatz and in 2002 the Parliament voted to re-erect a castle, with original shapes and a cultural destination. The project for the new Berliner Schloss-Humboldt Forum was conceived by Franco Stella and carried out between 2013 and 2020, mediating between reconstruction and reinvention. The political purpose that can be glimpsed is the recovery of a historical German national identity beyond the twentieth-century divisions and the projection of Berlin - and of Germany as a whole - in a cosmopolitan dimension, no longer in a colonial sense, but in preserving a shared cultural heritage
Lamberti, Claudia
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11568/1153583
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