Top Ten Essential Architecture top ten Berlin architecture  
     
  For a more complete list, see Berlin  
1 Brandenburg Gate  

architect

Carl Gotthard Langhans

location

Pariser Platz, central Berlin (on Unter den Linden)

date

1788 to 1791

style

Greek Revival

construction

stone

type

Monument

The Brandenburg Gate (German: Brandenburger Tor) is a triumphal arch and the symbol of Berlin, Germany. It is located at 52°30'58.4?N, 13°22'38.7?E on the Pariser Platz and is the only remaining gate of a series through which one formerly entered Berlin. One block to its north lies the Reichstag. It constitutes the monumental termination of Unter den Linden, the renowned boulevard of linden trees which led directly to the royal residence. It was commissioned by Friedrich Wilhelm II as a sign of peace and built by Carl Gotthard Langhans from 1788 to 1791.
 
     
2 Siegessaeule  

architect

Heinrich Strack

location

in the Tiergarten on axis with the Brandenburg Gate on the Unter den Linden

date

1864

style

NeoClassical

construction

Anchored on a solid fundament of polished red granite, the column sits on a hall of pillars with a glass mosaic designed by Anton von Werner. The column itself consists of three solid blocks of sandstone, which are decorated by cannon pipes captured from the enemies of the aforementioned three wars.

type

Monument

The Victory Column (German: Siegessäule) is one of the more famous sights of Berlin. Designed by Heinrich Strack after 1864 to commemorate the Prussian victory in the Danish-Prussian war, by the time it was inaugurated on 2 September 1873 Prussia had also defeated Austria in the Austro-Prussian War and France in the Franco-Prussian War (1870/1871), giving the statue a new purpose. Different from the original plans, these later victories inspired the addition of the bronze sculpture of Victoria, 8.3 meters high and weighing 35 tonnes, designed by Friedrich Drake. Berliners, with their fondness for disrespectful names of famous buildings, call the statue Goldelse, meaning something like "golden Lizzy".
 
     
3 Altes Museum  

architect

Karl Friedrich Schinkel

location

Bodestraße 1-3, Mitte (in the Lustgarten "Leisure Garden") Museumsinsel, Berlin

date

1823 to 1830

style

Greek Revival

construction

stone

type

Museum

The Altes Museum or Old Museum was originally for the Prussian Royal family's art collection, built in Berlin in a neoclassical style by architect Karl Friedrich Schinkel between 1823 and 1830. The building uses the Greek Stoa in Athens as a model. The museum uses the Ionic Order to articulate the front, which is the only part of the exterior with any visual sign of the Orders; the other three remaining facades are of brick and stone banding. It also is placed on a plinth, giving the building the hierarchy it desperately needed. Also, the museum was raised in order to protect the artwork from inevitable inundation as Museum Island, on which the Altes Museum was the first museum to stand, was known for flooding.
 
     
4 New National Gallery  

architect

Ludwig Mies van der Rohe

location

Potsdamer Strasse 50 Berlin-Tiergarten

date

1962 to 1968

style

Modern Miesien

construction

steel frame with coffered rib roof

type

Gallery

Neue Nationalgalerie is a museum for classical modern art in Berlin, with main focus on early the 20th century. The museum building was designed by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe and opened in 1968.

Nearly all of the museum's display space is located underground. The ground floor, which is the only floor above the surface, serves principally as a lobby and ticket sales area. Nevertheless, the lobby contains the most dramatic interior design in the museum: the walls of the museum are almost entirely glass, interrupted only with slim metal structural supports, and the white natural light transmitted through these walls reflects off the dark, highly polished floor. The ceiling, constructed as a grid of dark metal beams, is decorated with long lines of LCD displays, which continuously scroll abstract patterns down their length.
 
     
5 Berliner Dom / Berlin Cathedral  

architect

Julius Raschdorff

location

faces the Lustgarten and the Berliner Stadtschloss (Berlin City Palace). Museumsinsel, Berlin

date

1895 - 1905

style

German Baroque

construction

stone

type

Church

The Berliner Dom or Berlin Cathedral in Berlin, Germany was built between 1895 and 1905. It faces the Lustgarten and the Berliner Stadtschloss (Berlin City Palace).

The first church built near here in 1465 was the court chapel for the Hohenzollern family within the castle complex. Later the church of the Dominican Order (Schwarze Brüder), located at the south side of the castle, was used as the first cathedral. The first church at this site was a baroque cathedral by Johann Boumann, which was completed in 1747 and, in 1822, remodelled in the neoclassicist style by the Berlin architect Karl Friedrich Schinkel.
 
     
6 Kaiser Wilhelm Gedaechtniskirche  

date

1890s

style

neo-Gothic

construction

stone

type

Church
  Originally built as a memorial to Kaiser Wilhelm, its bombed remains were preserved as a war memorial after WW2.

This neo-Gothic Protestant church was built in the 1890s by Germany's last emperor, Wilhelm II, and is dedicated to his grandfather, Kaiser Wilhelm I.
On November 22, 1943, allied air raids on Berlin reduced the church and the adjoining Hohenzollern Royal Chapel to rubble. The church was not rebuilt, but preserved as a monument. Visitors can go inside and see on the ceiling figures of the patriarchs, prophets and apostles interleaved with the great and the good of the German Empire at the end of the 19th century. All this was designed to co-opt God to the German cause, proclaiming "God is on our side". It's tempting for all regimes to do this, particularly in times of war and conflict. The preservation of the church as a monument is a warning against the danger of making God in our own image.
 
     
7 A. E. G. High Tension Factory  

architect

Peter Behrens

location

Berlin

date

1910

style

Early Modern

construction

glass and steel with masonry- three-pin arch steel frame.

type

Factory

Built around 1909 AEG Turbine Factory at 12-16 Ironworks Road in Berlin-Moabit is the key work and the construction of the best-known industrial architecture of Berlin and Germany.
The factory belonged to the Ludwig Loewe & Co. AG, with August Thyssen and the Thomson Houston Electric Company in 1892, the Union-Elektricitäts Society (LEL) was founded. The objective of the company was to the growing electrical industry, and so enter in the Ironworks Road predominantly electric trams produced. But soon the LEL fell into economic difficulties and the General Elektricitäts Society (AEG), the company 1904.
 
     
8 Mossehaus  

architect

Erich Mendelsohn

location

Schutzenstrasse 18-25 Berlin-Mitte

date

1922

style

Modern

construction

masonry

type

Shop

Since the period of the Berliner Tageblatt building, Mendelsohn had developed a strong association with the editor Rudolf Mosse, who appreciated not only Mendelsohn’s creative abilities, but also his intellectual acuity and literary versatility. This heating plant is another inspired work, using vertical panels of white brickwork, articulated and partly separated by metal uprights and beams. The disparity in height between the two blocks is emphasized by the curved profile, which avoids a mere confrontation between rectangular volumes. On both sides, the low windows of the upper floor create ventilation. The window of the main facade cuts across the entire building, while that on the side facade occupies two areas and is connected to a door. This precise work demonstrates that Mendelsohn’s skill did not depend solely upon a violently plastic form of expression.
 
     
9 Sans Souci  

architect

Georg Wenzeslaus von Knobelsdorff

location

Potsdam

date

1747

style

"Frederician Rococo "

construction

masonry

type

Palace

Sanssouci is the former summer palace of Frederick the Great, King of Prussia at Potsdam, just outside Berlin. It is often counted among the German rivals of Versailles. While Sanssouci is in the more intimate Rococo style and is far smaller than its French Baroque counterpart, it is notable for the numerous temples and follies in Sanssouci Park. Designed by Georg Wenzeslaus von Knobelsdorff between 1745 and 1747 to fulfil Frederick's need for a private residence where he could relax away from the pomp and ceremony of the Berlin court, the palace is little more than a large single-storey villa—more like the Château de Marly than Versailles. Containing just ten principal rooms, it was built on the brow of a terraced hill at the centre of the park. So great was the influence of Frederick's personal taste in the design and decoration of the palace that its style is characterised as "Frederician Rococo", and so personally did he regard the palace that he conceived it as "a place that would die with him".
 
     
10 Alte Nationalgalerie  

architect

August Stüler

location

Museumsinsel, Berlin

date

1869 - 1876

style

Greek Revival

construction

stone

type

Gallery

The Alte Nationalgalerie (Old National Gallery) on Museum Island in Berlin is a gallery showing many important 19th century works from the collection of the Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation.