That tricky site on Friedrichstrasse

A couple of quite poor images of a new building rising on a plot on Friedrichstrasse (taken with my phone, which I chose based on its music playing rather than its photographic capabilities – I now realise this was an error).

It’s not just any building plot though.  It’s the one where Mies famously failed to build his at-the-time quite unbuildable glass skyscraper competition entry.  The competition was something of a sham, and in the end no building at all resulted from it.

So a bit of pressure then on Mark Braun Architekten’s design for the site, which is, well, a glass skyscraper.  The immediate urge is to compare the two, but actually this is a little unfair.  First of all Braun’s building is not really a skyscraper, more of a tree-top scraper.  And it’s curvy, not pointy.  Stop me here if the complexity of architectural criticism is flying over your head.

In fact, it has more in common with one of Mies’ other unbuilt glass skyscrapers, of 1922

which… oh alright, clearly is a skyscraper.  This is a blog though, not an architectural treatise.  Maybe that Aalto vase is a better comparison, the one that doesn’t work for putting flowers in.  Herzog & de Meuron made a building from it – have a look here

Anyway, seems fair to give it a chance.  Just a shame that in reality, glass buildings end up being quite opaque, like Foster’s Willis Faber building, in the daytime.

Photograph © Andrew Dunn, 11 August 2005.



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