SPREEINSEL URBAN PLANNING
LOCATION Berlin, Germany
DESIGNERS Antonio Monestiroli
TEAM Chiara Negri ,Raffaella Neri, Giuseppe Rossi, Giacomo Tutucci
The design hypothesis is a continuation of Schinkel’s city, assuming the principle of the relationship between identified buildings that clearly represent their purpose and civic value. Today we stand symmetrically to where Schinkel stood in relation to the castle. On its historic location we propose an exceptional building that is placed in relation to the Altes Museum, with the same care with which Schinkel placed the museum in relation to the castle. In the large open space, the end point of the long Unter den Linden perspective, the new Foreign Ministry will have to accommodate several reactions: first that with the Altes Museum, then with the Unter den Linden axis, with the Breite Straße, and finally with the banks of the Spree and Spreekanal.
This building, for the place where it stands, should not give up a character of exceptionality. The relationship to the old castle is all contained in this character, well suited to a building intended for foreign relations. The heart of the new Berlin, intended for ministerial buildings, will have to enter the collective memory just as it was for the castle. This seems to us a possible homage to the old center. The project theme therefore became the construction of a building in analogy with the type of the castle. Not exactly that castle in Berlin, but the castle in general and with the elements that belong to the type: the plinths, towers, etc. This 60-meter-high building is constructed of iron and glass, has at its base two large marble-clad classrooms lit from above that contain all the collective activities of the Ministry and the conference center. On the Spreekanal a dock allows boats to dock. On the Spree six small 12-meter-high brick buildings for recreational activities build the riverfront in a scale that enhances the size of the Foreign Ministry. The surrounding fabric is carefully reconstructed in the old shapes and sizes; the blocks on the street will be rebuilt with large courtyards as in Nehering’s plan. The castle square is restored to its former dimensions. On the Spreekanal side it is enclosed by a building intended for cultural activities, built of brick, in close relation to the Bauakademie, whose reconstruction is proposed.
Massimo Ferrari (edit by) Antonio Monestiroli Opere, progetti e studi di architettura Electa Milan 2001