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Old July 2nd, 2015, 02:39 PM   #1321
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It appears that work is beginning on the second floor of the south facade.
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Old July 2nd, 2015, 02:46 PM   #1322
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Quote:
Originally Posted by keepthepast View Post
The good news is that the characterless, sterile eastern facade is a 'blank slate'. At some point, when the common belief realizes how abundantly silly the 'new Berlin Wall' looks as part of this historic complex, it will be easy to add the appropriate surfaces. Right now, the unfinished structural concrete walls on the north, west and south look like the east will in its finished state. Soon the baroque outer elements will be added...just like they could on the east side in due course.
Keeping the past, as per your username is often the right thing to do - but making fake imitations of the past out of concrete then clad with decoration is a totally different thing. Arguably it devalues genuine heritage because you can't tell from looking at a building if it is authentic or not. It also suggests that we can demolish old buildings and then just rebuild copies if we change our minds.

I think what you're really intersted in is the aesthetic of older buildings - which is a personal stylistic preference, but can't be a philosophical approach to the built environment. I felt the same when I was about 16 and before I studied architecture and urban design. If you want to see what happens when we try to build in a historic style today, look no further than the terrible embarrassing Skopje 2014 project.
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Old July 2nd, 2015, 02:52 PM   #1323
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Quote:
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I really don't understand what's so bad about that side being boring and too simple. I don't like it either, but at least it will be unnoticeable and it probably won't ruin other three sides of the palace. Sure, the best thing they could've done was to reconstruct the palace in its old glory, but since that didn't happen, it's better to have something that's not invasive and that won't bring disharmony. In the future we can just tear down that part and rebuilt it as it was since reconstructions are proving to be more popular than ever (Dresden, Braunschweig, Potsdam, Berlin, etc.)
The problem with reconstructions is that they are inauthentic. They have no historic qualities - they aren't built out of traditional materials, they lack the characterful imperfections of the original, they lack the meaning. And you can't tell what buildings are old or what buildings are new in many German and Polish cities. In the UK the prevailing approach to heritage is to preserve what remains but build new buildings in a contemporary style - so when you walk around a city you know that an old style building is genuinely old. The cities are messy but honest and authentic.

So again, I'm in favour of this modern facade - it could be a lot better of course, but the idea of building it in a baroque style is grotesque
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Old July 2nd, 2015, 03:06 PM   #1324
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I'm not a "modernist". I equally support all architectural styles. Unlike most classicists, I don't reject styles I dislike as inherently inferior.

The finish quality is the most important thing to look for.
I think this is a bit unfair. Classicists don't categorically reject styles they dislike as inherently inferior. Rather, we reject the carte blanche expected and forced modernist/internationalist approach to nearly every architectural project, renovation, and reconstruction. Classicists are allegiant to historic value and accuracy and recognize that the tone and character of a location has its roots in its notable architectural history. We are the ones who seek some diversity on the cityscapes across the globe rather than settle for the consistently applied glass and steel frame look.
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Old July 2nd, 2015, 05:58 PM   #1325
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The problem with reconstructions is that they are inauthentic. They have no historic qualities - they aren't built out of traditional materials, they lack the characterful imperfections of the original, they lack the meaning. And you can't tell what buildings are old or what buildings are new in many German and Polish cities.
I don't see a "problem" at all there. They are "inauthentic"...so what? They don't use the "traditional materials"...so what? You can't really tell old from new...so what??? Seriously, who cares, as long as they are solid buildings you can visit, work or live in and most importantly, they are nice to the eye. I (and millions of others) prefer an "inauthentic" beautiful building to an authentic ugly box, that could stand anywhere in the world.

By the way, regarding the "characterful imperfections", these are all recreated with the new facades of the City Palace. It's still asymmetrical and slightly bent and crooked and modern day workers will add their own imperfections. It's not as if the facades are completely build by robots nowadays. Germany is advanced, but not that advanced. XD

Non-robots doing characterful imperfect work for the new City Palace:







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Old July 2nd, 2015, 06:28 PM   #1326
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In his book Last Chance to See, Douglas Adams observed:


The Golden Pavilion in the 21st century.
I remembered once, in Japan, having been to see the Gold Pavilion Temple in Kyoto and being mildly surprised at quite how well it had weathered the passage of time since it was first built in the fourteenth century. I was told it hadn't weathered well at all, and had in fact been burnt to the ground twice in this century. "So it isn't the original building?" I had asked my Japanese guide.
"But yes, of course it is," he insisted, rather surprised at my question.
"But it's burnt down?"
"Yes."
"Twice."
"Many times."
"And rebuilt."
"Of course. It is an important and historic building."
"With completely new materials."
"But of course. It was burnt down."
"So how can it be the same building?"
"It is always the same building."

I had to admit to myself that this was in fact a perfectly rational point of view, it merely started from an unexpected premise. The idea of the building, the intention of it, its design, are all immutable and are the essence of the building. The intention of the original builders is what survives. The wood of which the design is constructed decays and is replaced when necessary. To be overly concerned with the original materials, which are merely sentimental souvenirs of the past, is to fail to see the living building itself.

—Douglas Adams, Last Chance to See, p. 149
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Old July 2nd, 2015, 06:40 PM   #1327
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I concede. Rebuilding lost buildings can be fine. In fact it can be excellent. What style new buildings are built in is just a matter of taste and fashion.

Thankfully we have a balance in society which prevents any one point of view ever completely dominating. That's why we have complex and varied cities that reflect everyone.

I do believe though that you can't recreate the past. Old buildings can support very different uses and more variety than a modern reproduction in the same style. The centre of Dresden will never be as multi-layered and complex as it once was because the human variety than inhabited the previous city has been replaced by a simpler more ordered kind that can afford the rents of brand new buildings.
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Old July 2nd, 2015, 06:40 PM   #1328
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Other reconstructions (that you might recognize) :

Campanile, Venice by Gill Cocks, on Flickr

The White House by Daniel Reidel, on Flickr

Windsor Castle, Berkshire, from the Long Walk by Jack Pease, on Flickr

Paris : Hôtel de Ville / Town-hall 2/2 by François de Nodrest / Pantchoa, on Flickr

Osaka Castle. Walking towards the castle. by WH Low, on Flickr

I don't see anyone complaining about these...
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Old July 2nd, 2015, 07:22 PM   #1329
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The meaning of a building is not its material, but its design. You don't experience a building through concrete, windows and bricks, but through its look and contribution to the city. That's why I think reconstructions like those in Dresden or Warsaw are "authentic". Parts of those buildings that are visible from the street look the same as of those destroyed buildings. Interior and inner courtyards are (mainly) not important because random people that are walking down the streets can't see them, and, after all, if they had survived, someone would've changed them by now. I know that majority won't agree with me, but that is how I see reconstructed buildings like those. I see them as authentic.

Off topic, I saw a picture from the construction site of Skopje 2014 where they were literally gluing ornaments. So yes, the project is disturbingly stupid.
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Old July 2nd, 2015, 08:39 PM   #1330
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Some of Skopje 2014 doesn't look too bad in my opinion.
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Old July 3rd, 2015, 04:13 AM   #1331
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When confronted with people uncomfortable with these reconstructions, it's important to reassure them that they're only anxious and afraid of them because they're new. In time they'll (re)gain their place in everyday life. So it's worth telling those of you not to fear and misunderstand this building because it's new. You'll understand and accept it and others in time.

It's understandable that they've grown used to glass boxes and raw concrete forms, because that's what they've grown up with and have been told is what is true, right, and authentic. Unfortunately, as with life, architecture is much more complicated than that. All constructed environments involve a degree of artifice. Whether this is "phoniness" or not depends on what is emphasized or dissected.

But to merely reject this reconstruction on the grounds that its style out of step with the dominant/accepted precepts and values of our times is a truly backward way of thinking, very un-modern.
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Old July 3rd, 2015, 06:49 AM   #1332
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Quote:
Originally Posted by steppenwolf View Post
The problem with reconstructions is that they are inauthentic. They have no historic qualities - they aren't built out of traditional materials, they lack the characterful imperfections of the original, they lack the meaning. And you can't tell what buildings are old or what buildings are new in many German and Polish cities. In the UK the prevailing approach to heritage is to preserve what remains but build new buildings in a contemporary style - so when you walk around a city you know that an old style building is genuinely old. The cities are messy but honest and authentic.

So again, I'm in favour of this modern facade - it could be a lot better of course, but the idea of building it in a baroque style is grotesque

People didn't construct these buildings with imperfections or "being historic" in mind. They built them with the goal of making them as perfect as possible. Do you think modern buildings are flawless and without human error? Those qualities happen over time or by accident. Modernists have a strange disney-esque view of the past.

It has to be new at some point if it is ever going to be old.
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Old July 3rd, 2015, 10:11 AM   #1333
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Originally Posted by Tiaren View Post
So, did Franco Stella emulate the PdR in all his other works as well?

They are all "minimalist" with "sharp angles" with a nod to neoclassicism. It's just Stella's stylistic. You are reading way too much into it.
With every additional photo, you're giving me more and more ideas regarding the symbolism inherent in the building. There's a chance that the juxtaposition of modern & baroque actually symbolizes reconciliation between East & West Germany, or better yet, the country's acceptance of its own history.

While I do agree that baroque facades on all sides of the building is preferable, understanding, or attempting to understand the rationale behind the design's selection and the architects inspiration has allowed me to appreciate this building much more.

Overall, I do see a general backlash against the modernist facade on this forum. We should instead consider ourselves lucky with this design. This building will become the centerpiece of Berlin - the committee that selected it most definitely had good reasons for doing so.
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Old July 3rd, 2015, 12:07 PM   #1334
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Some of Skopje 2014 doesn't look too bad in my opinion.
You are joking right? I live in Skopje. None of that is authentic, all the decorations are terribly crafted and even more terribly applied to the facades. It will all disintegrate very soon. To my biggest surprise Berlin's authorities use the same populistic approach to architecture as our architecturally and artistically illiterate politicians.

As an architect I have to say that I am very disappointed by the decision for reconstruction of this building. Last time I was there this place was just a empty plane and this is what I least expected. Berlin's modernist facades and buildings are the cleanest and the neatest in the world, a walk in Berlin is like peeking into a model town. They could have done something more german, not this Paris-wannabe giant thing (and we all know who wanted to copy Paris, not to mention names).

I still love Berlin, a great town, can't wait to go back again.
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Old July 3rd, 2015, 01:50 PM   #1335
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You are joking right? I live in Skopje. None of that is authentic, all the decorations are terribly crafted and even more terribly applied to the facades. It will all disintegrate very soon. To my biggest surprise Berlin's authorities use the same populistic approach to architecture as our architecturally and artistically illiterate politicians.

As an architect I have to say that I am very disappointed by the decision for reconstruction of this building. Last time I was there this place was just a empty plane and this is what I least expected. Berlin's modernist facades and buildings are the cleanest and the neatest in the world, a walk in Berlin is like peeking into a model town. They could have done something more german, not this Paris-wannabe giant thing (and we all know who wanted to copy Paris, not to mention names).

I still love Berlin, a great town, can't wait to go back again.
How can you even compare Skopje and Berlin?! Berlin is RECONSTRUCTING a palace which was there for 400 years. Skopje is making some mish-mash buildings of questionable quality. Also, it's obvious why Berlin will never be Paris. It's full of cheap, postwar architecture which doesn't have a sense for beauty and surroundings. Even the recent developments like Potsdamer Platz are not something special or noticeable. Berlin had a major opportunity to become a capital of modernity, but it unbelievably failed on a massive scale. So yes, it is a model of modernist architecture but I don't think it is a good thing because those buildings are not really that special and world-renowned.

P.S. I am not a hater of contemporary architecture. I like glassy buildings, but only if they are not destroying historical neighbourhoods, if they are not built on a place of an old beauty and if they are not plain and boring.
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Old July 3rd, 2015, 03:19 PM   #1336
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[QUOTE=Tiaren;125252601]I don't see a "problem" at all there. They are "inauthentic"...so what? They don't use the "traditional materials"...so what? You can't really tell old from new...so what??? Seriously, who cares, as long as they are solid buildings you can visit, work or live in and most importantly, they are nice to the eye. I (and millions of others) prefer an "inauthentic" beautiful building to an authentic ugly box, that could stand anywhere in the world.

By the way, regarding the "characterful imperfections", these are all recreated with the new facades of the City Palace. It's still asymmetrical and slightly bent and crooked and modern day workers will add their own imperfections. It's not as if the facades are completely build by robots nowadays. Germany is advanced, but not that advanced. XD

Non-robots doing characterful imperfect work for the new City Palace:
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Old July 3rd, 2015, 03:22 PM   #1337
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Is there a plan to incorporate any surviving parts of the Palace? I think that was well accomplished with the Frauenkirche in Dresden.
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Old July 3rd, 2015, 03:23 PM   #1338
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How can you even compare Skopje and Berlin?! Berlin is RECONSTRUCTING a palace which was there for 400 years. Skopje is making some mish-mash buildings of questionable quality.
I agree about Skopje, like I said before - It's a terrible, terrible move. I do not compare the cities, but the populism that the politicians use in both cases....never mind.
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Old July 3rd, 2015, 03:39 PM   #1339
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I agree about Skopje, like I said before - It's a terrible, terrible move. I do not compare the cities, but the populism that the politicians use in both cases....never mind.
I don't think the populism of the politicians is comparable. Macedonian politicians want to create national identity and recreate history, whereas German politicians are just restoring the very symbol of the capital, its palace, which was destroyed in an unnecesary war.
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Old July 3rd, 2015, 04:29 PM   #1340
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Overall, I do see a general backlash against the modernist facade on this forum. We should instead consider ourselves lucky with this design. This building will become the centerpiece of Berlin - the committee that selected it most definitely had good reasons for doing so.
I will agree with you on this. I mean for all the crap I give the modern facade/interior, this project could have been MUCH worse.

I mean they could have easily done something similar that garbage hack job they did with the Reichstag. Where instead of rebuilding the iconic dome they just make some plastic, uncontextual, modernist garbage and instead of remaking the gorgeus ornamentation they just leave the building naked an plain looking.
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