Dies und Das

Yesterday the sun came out in Berlin, and there was much confusion and fear, followed by rejoicing when people realised what it was.  I thought to myself: “If it’s sunny again tomorrow, I’ll set off and take pictures of some of the many things I want to blog about”.

Today is saturday.  It’s cold, grey and uninviting outside, much like the last three months or so in Berlin, as far as I can remember.  So I’ve decided to stay in the warm and do a blog about… well, not sure really. I’ve been looking through a backlog of things that I’ve photographed or read about but haven’t never got round to mentioning.  Here are a couple.

I thought I would do a sort of ‘bunker collection page’ at some point.  I’ve previously mentioned the Boros collection and the biggy on Pallasstrasse.  Here’s another one, on Schöneberger Strasse, built in 1943:

It currently houses a small exhibition about the bunker itself, and also the Gruselkabinett, a kind of grisly Madame Tussaud’s type affair, if you like that sort of thing. It was retained as part of IBA Block 14, which included the construction of a new school.

The building was next to the huge Anhalter station, heavily damaged in the war, with only a bit of the entrance remaining; it’s the thing you pass on the M29 bus:

Thanks to Burak Bilgin, who I’ve nicked the Flickr image from.  In fact, there’s a set of images on Flickr of Berlin 1959/1960, by Allhails, which includes a couple of the station before total demolition:

Which reminds me that I wanted to mention the M29 bus route, as a fine thing in itself.  I think of it as a sort of ‘IBA express’; it runs through much of Kreuzberg and right past many of the IBA buildings which I’ve blogged about, as well as loads more interesting things which I haven’t.  Might do a full guide at some point.

I also never got round to including some various blocks on my IBA list, mainly because they were just a bit disappointing, even though it was a lovely summer’s day (that’s how long I’ve put off writing anything about them).

See what I mean?  Even I have to admit that not every building constructed as part of the International Bauaustellung 1984/87 really gets me excited.  Actually, the building opposite the one above interested me much more; it’s on the corner of the river bank and Potsdamer Strasse, directly opposite the Neue Nationalgalerie:

It looks to my untrained eye like a 1920s modernist building with a quite cool Foster-ish two storey extension on top.  In fact, have just checked my guidebook, and this is true: 1929, by Loeser & Wolff, although I don’t know who did the new part. Its facade is finely proportioned and detailed (as architecture critics would say) and I like it very much.

Anyway, while I’ve been wittering away, the sun has come out, so am off out for a late breakfast.

Post blog note: yes I did know it was Valentine’s day.  Me and the missus went out that evening, since you ask.

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