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Old March 22nd, 2017, 04:08 PM   #5741
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While I'm inclined to be a little pessimistic, I can see projects of this sort gaining in number over the next few decades, and perhaps, even if the work at Dresden flutters out, it might be revived later.

The reason for this, I think, is that Europe and the West in general are a waning, or at least stagnating, power. As many said at the turn of the century, the 21st century will, I believe, be 'the Asian century'.

Why is this important? Because as the West reevaluates itself (we already saw a microcosm of this in the uproar following Donald Trump's election), I think Europe in particular will be swept up in a populist desire to emulate that which, in their mind, made them great -- their history and the architecture that is so crucially associated with it.

People are already (generally) in favour of larger scale restorations of places like Dresden. Their politicians (often lead by modernist dogma) just don't listen most of the time. Lets see how long that can hold up. With the growth in 3D printing techniques, I think ornamentation will make a return to the architectural scene and might make such historical reconstructions less controversial (and perhaps easier). As the modernist buildings in Dresden age and get referred to the wrecking ball, I think talk of reconstruction will inevitably come up again

As an aside, I am disappointed to read that the Kulturpalast is an historic monument now and thus cannot (without much difficulty) be demolished. Especially now that they've actually reduced the capacity and purposefulness of the building. I would love to see Schloßstraße restored, minus the Kulturpalast.
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Old March 22nd, 2017, 04:19 PM   #5742
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Also, the old Dresden in intrinsically tied to the identity of the city and its citizens. Its reputation as one of the world's most beautiful cities was only exacerbated by its destruction, which is likewise linked to the city's character.

While cities such as Berlin, Hamburg, and Frankfurt, for example, were certainly beautiful in their time, this doesn't permeate popular culture and the cities' own views of themselves as much as it does at Dresden. Those cities have new identities. Dresden, I believe, is still trying to work out its place in a post-1945 world; this is much more conducive to reconstructions. The fact that Dresden isn't particularly built up in a lot of places helps too.

Here's to hope for a vibrant (and hopefully historically reminiscent) future in Dresden
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Old March 25th, 2017, 05:59 AM   #5743
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Does anyone know if would be possible to restore the Schloßstraße to its state in this image, or would it require the destruction of the Kulturpalast? I particularly like the lamps hanging above, they would, I think, make the street quite atmosphere. These existed on Prager Straße as well, I'm fairly certain.

A painting a gives an admittedly abstract view of this street's beauty:



Pirnaischer Platz



Would a restoration of the Pirnaischer Platz also be impossible without a narrowing of the current roads and a redirection of traffic? Surely Dresden could invest long term in the pedestrianisation of the city centre, like many other European cities. They seem to have the public transport facilities for it, and the surrounding landscape is very flat, so they could encourage the riding of bikes, like they do in Copenhagen, for example.
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Old March 25th, 2017, 11:51 PM   #5744
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The battle over the long term status of the kulturpalast was fought and lost. I personally don't think the anti-kulturpalast side fought hard enough, while the pro-kulturpalast had political advantages. So it will remain as an ugly tumor.

There were proposals to reconstruct the exterior of the building to more associate with the historic SchlossStr, but the proposals were unapproved.

Plus, the open space between the Schloss and Taschenbergpalais has been designated as a no-build zone, so recreating the historic look of the street is completely thwarted, but we have the east side near the Schloss looking very nice. Given the circumstances after 1945, what we now have is a miracle.

PirnaischerPlatz is another story. The currently unbuild areas could indeed be developed to recreate its former look and appeal.
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Old March 26th, 2017, 01:17 AM   #5745
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I wouldn't say that the battle has been completely lost over the Kulturpalast, as heritage buildings can be delisted, especially when people are unhappy with them. The recent renovation of the building is actually perhaps the best thing the anti-Kulturpalast side could hope for given that an immediate demolition was vetoed. Because -- typical of the city council -- it's been a bit of a failure. The building now seats less people, and has had its versitility as a public building diminished as well. It can now host less community functions, is less useful to the public, and is, of course, still just as ugly (externally). Hopefully this further sours public opinion on the building and it falls in relative redundancy. Normally I would feel bad about saying something like that, but I really hate that building. The other Stalinist building on the Altmarkt that houses McDonald's at one end (maybe???), is a much nicer building that actually fits into the urban character of the Neumarkt. I'd have no problem sacrificing some old buildings on the Altmarkt to preserve that as a reminder of the GDR in Dresden. The Germania Monument could be revived as well, in a new way reflective of Dresden's recent history; that could be quite nice.

Why is the space between the Schloss and Taschenbergpalais a no build zone?

I'm really hoping the current city council is replaced with one more competent at the next election (2018/2019?), as they seem to pass bad ideas and veto anything that aims to take advantage of Dresden's strengthening economic position.
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Old March 26th, 2017, 01:44 AM   #5746
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Those Caryatids are rather hilarious, what are they even supporting? The plaster? Absolutely hilarious. Btw, I also love the ventilation on the roof, as genuine as it can get. It's german quality after all!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kampflamm View Post
Slightly larger version of the modern interpretation of an historicist building:



https://twitter.com/szonline/status/...034818/photo/1

To be perfectly honest I'm ok with it. 95% of all people would mistake this for a building from the 19th century or even earlier.
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Old March 26th, 2017, 02:02 AM   #5747
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https://translate.google.com.au/tran...e/&prev=search

Gunter Blobel has done an interview where he discusses his design for the Au petit bazar, if anyone is interested. He doesn't seem to be budging, though the building isn't horrible and the general public won't notice. I think it will still look nice. Apparently he is still in deliberation with the GHND, and they have submitted a revision for his consideration. Time will tell.

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Old March 26th, 2017, 07:05 PM   #5748
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Originally Posted by qjone2 View Post
I wouldn't say that the battle has been completely lost over the Kulturpalast, as heritage buildings can be delisted, especially when people are unhappy with them.

I hope you are correct.

Goethe said, "Architecture is frozen music".

In my view, the kulturpalast is a frozen scream.
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Old March 27th, 2017, 08:08 AM   #5749
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To what extent is there any actual citizen initiative in this push for the reconstruction of Dresden's historical core? Sure, I've been told that a majority of Dresdeners would support some form of larger historical reconstruction, but where is the actual evidence? If I was the city council, I'd be feeling the same way. In the almost 30 years since German reunification and the wider initiative for a reconstruction at the Neumarkt, have any polls been conducted asking Dresdeners what they think? Any petitions created for wider action? Anything that actually says to the city council that "yes, this is the will of the people"? Why should they commit to such a tremendous undertaking based on what people say is the truth? Put cold hard facts in front of them and it's harder to jump around.

Yes, I'm sure a lot of regular people are rather apathetic about the whole process, and won't bother to donate to societies such as the GHND or show up at community meetings, but these days signing a petition is really no more than the press of a button. If they have even the slightest inkling that maybe they'd be alright with something more at the Altstadt or Neustadt, it's right there in front of them, and yes, contributing to something you don't even care that much about makes people feel good -- makes them feel as though they are taking affirmative action without hardly leaving the confort of their homes.

I know things such as Change.org as are usually relegated to the realm of 'Social Justice Warriors', but a lot of well-founded petitions there actually end up getting what they want, believe it or not. The cynic in me makes me think that maybe that is why politicians and the like ridicule and make light of places like Change.org (at least in my country): because it often forces them to actually confront community desires they would rather ignore.

Does any such initiative exist?

While places like the GHND try to tell me that by donating money to them I support their cause, they never actually tell you what your money is being spent on, which makes one feel somewhat detached. In my opinion they are too passive and rely on what they think people think rather than actually finding out what people think. This is why they are being walked all over, and why modernist buildings are increasingly showing up in the Neumarkt. Their approach will never restore Dresden as so many people here supposedly want, at least not in my lifetime (and I'm only young!)

What do people here think?
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Old March 27th, 2017, 03:46 PM   #5750
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There were various polls conducted by the media and GHND that showed wide support of 80-90% for reconstructions in Dresden's old core.
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Old March 27th, 2017, 03:53 PM   #5751
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The were various polls conducted by the media and GHND that showed wide support of 80-90% for reconstructions in Dresden's old core.
Thank you very much! Do you perhaps have a source for that? If not, don't bother yourself digging around for it I'd be interested as to whether those 'reconstructions' people were asked about were limited to the Neumarkt. Obviously I (and others) would like it to extend beyond that.

I still think a new petition with the approval of the GHND or some other organisation is in order. Not long after writing my last post I read that a petition calling for widespread historical reconstruction was created in 2004 (or thereabouts). It received 70,000 signatures in a short amount of time, but get this: the city council had the entire thing dismissed on a technicality!
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Old March 27th, 2017, 07:11 PM   #5752
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I think that Dresden is being extremely stupid with its handling of reconstruction projects in the city. Modern buildings that are being built in the city may be nice, but are not innovative and unique. Also, they can't be compared to many wonders of modern architecture being built in NYC, London, Paris or Berlin. Even some Polish cities are building much better buildings than Dresden. It will never be a city of a bigger global cultural importance like it once was unless it undergoes a long-term, massive reconstruction process of the whole city. I mean, why would someone go to Dresden to see few museums and galeries (which are world-class, btw), and wander around commieblocks and undeveloped area when they can go to Prague or Vienna and get the whole package? The ignorance of the city council is just sad and the city is being screwed over. I blame both the people of Dresden and the GHND, as they are not fighting the council enough. I'm also quite disappointed in GHND, instead of pushing as much faithful reconstructions as they can, they approve of weird hybrids that can seriously undermine the whole project of reconstruction.
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Old March 27th, 2017, 07:35 PM   #5753
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Quote:
Originally Posted by qjone2 View Post
Would a restoration of the Pirnaischer Platz also be impossible without a narrowing of the current roads and a redirection of traffic? Surely Dresden could invest long term in the pedestrianisation of the city centre, like many other European cities. They seem to have the public transport facilities for it, and the surrounding landscape is very flat, so they could encourage the riding of bikes, like they do in Copenhagen, for example.
The area, Dresden is located in, is anything but flat. Just the Elbe valley forms a bicycle friendly strip which many people make already use of. Dresden has one of the highest mode share for cycling in Germany.
Neither does the town need to pedestrianise its centre, as it already is.

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The were various polls conducted by the media and GHND that showed wide support of 80-90% for reconstructions in Dresden's old core.
That raises the question what exactly people perceive as old core. The Neumarkt is undoubtedly part of it and its redevelopment doesn't bother anyone as no-one lives there anymore. But is Pirnaer Platz conceived to be core as well? After all the square seem to be one of the developments that replaced the town fortification. As such it isn't part of the core and nowadays it serves as a junction of major roads. I doubt that 80% are in favour of a narrowing the road space to redevelopment of the area.
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Old March 28th, 2017, 01:20 AM   #5754
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That raises the question what exactly people perceive as old core.
Yes, exactly. This is crucial. To me, the 'old core', at least on the Altstadt side, is everything encompassed by the old Ring, including Pirnaischer Platz and the Postplatz as the boundaries to the east and west, respectively.

EDIT: Google maps defines the 'Inner Altstadt' as such:

http://imgur.com/a/50CFG

Together with the 'Inner Neustadt' (http://imgur.com/a/8uwTB), I think these two districts would form the 'old core' of Dresden. Although, I think that due to the number of significant structures, such as the Central Theatre and Victoriahaus, on Waisenhausstraße and Prager Straße, these places could easily be considered apart of the old core. Despite the loss of the Victoriahaus, I honestly wouldn't mind a modern Prager Straße if only they redeveloped it with some more taste in places. The Prager Straße I see as a compromise regardless, if only because I don't see them ever knocking down all those modern buildings they've recently revamped and disrupting such an important civic centre.

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I'm also quite disappointed in GHND, instead of pushing as much faithful reconstructions as they can, they approve of weird hybrids that can seriously undermine the whole project of reconstruction.
I think that's a bit unfair on them. Because the conditions on reconstruction aren't legally binding, they're is only so much they can do if an investor doesn't want to recreate the old structure. It's better for them to work out a compromise diplomatically than being totally inflexible and driving investors to construct modern anyway.
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Old March 28th, 2017, 03:59 PM   #5755
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If the inner cores as defined by the maps linked above were all to be historically rebuilt with even 80% attention to detail, it would be a sensational victory for the city and the global community of historic architecture. Even many of the new buildings could be restored on the exterior (similar to stadtshloss in Beriln), such as the two monsters on the south end of the Alt Markt.

What, to me, is most disturbing are the vast other developments beyond this core that have absolutely no alignment to Dresden's architectural history or what formerly stood on the properties. BausituationDresden's superb chronicling of all new Dresden projects shows that, over and over, every new design is modern/contemporary/international. Almost all are on properties that have been vacant for decades. With such an opportunity to design and build historic-looking structures, it is mind-boggling as to why any developer would not do so. Especially given the stark and almost abusive visual conflict with any historic buildings nearby.

The democratic approach to the large scale building/design in Dresden missed so much opportunity. Oh how giving everyone a voice can sometimes be a problem.
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Old March 28th, 2017, 05:01 PM   #5756
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If the inner cores as defined by the maps linked above were all to be historically rebuilt with even 80% attention to detail, it would be a sensational victory for the city and the global community of historic architecture.
Yes, it would be amazing, and something I hope materialises to some extent.

You are right. Dresden, today a city of open spaces, was once very built up. It amazes me that streets once brimming with architectural gems today have absolutely nothing in their place. Right in the middle of the city. Yes, some such places have had their street plans changed, but others such as the Saschen Platz (and surrounding streets), are essentially as they were minus the buildings (before: http://imgur.com/a/Ig432).

I often read tourist websites describe how Dresden was "rebuilt just as it was", and it always makes me sad that people don't realise what a gem this city was (and to an extent, still is). I don't expect or want the entire old city to be rebuilt, but I'd like people to give it the recognition it deserves. A friend, upon hearing that I was travelling to Dresden, exclaimed that "there is nothing there anymore". Perhaps there was more understanding, there would be more support for its reconstruction, which is more achievable than almost anywhere else in Europe.

Quote:
every new design is modern/contemporary/international.
While I think there is a place for modern architecture in Dresden (just not in the old city), most of it is pretty uninspiring. It seems to me that Dresden is almost a dumping ground for mediocre German architects who are somehow alright with building more Plattenbau-esque structures. Some stuff is alright, though it is not enough to tip the balance, and it doesn't surprise me that most Dresdeners dislike the modern architecture in their city.
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Old April 3rd, 2017, 02:40 AM   #5757
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While I think there is a place for modern architecture in Dresden (just not in the old city), most of it is pretty uninspiring. It seems to me that Dresden is almost a dumping ground for mediocre German architects who are somehow alright with building more Plattenbau-esque structures. Some stuff is alright, though it is not enough to tip the balance, and it doesn't surprise me that most Dresdeners dislike the modern architecture in their city.

Well put. The irony is that quite a few of the new buildings going up in Berlin are wonderful. They are contemporary and yet have a classical feel that is uniquely Berlin. In short, there are good modern architects to be found. Unfortunately none of them are in Dresden.
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Old April 3rd, 2017, 03:23 PM   #5758
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Well put. The irony is that quite a few of the new buildings going up in Berlin are wonderful. They are contemporary and yet have a classical feel that is uniquely Berlin. In short, there are good modern architects to be found. Unfortunately none of them are in Dresden.
Yes, Berlin is a really cool city that manages to synthesises both old and new with soul (most of the time), striving for progress while not being overly zealous about superseding the past. In this sense, I think it captures the collective consciousness of Germany post-WWII — one should move forward but not forget or overwrite the past, which is crucial to identity and the very process of growth.

The rebuilding of the Stadtschloß in Berlin really is an amazing project. I've read the total cost will be about $630 million. I wonder what Dresden could do with that sort of money if the city became interested in more historical reconstruction. I would like to see something similar to what is happening in Frankfurt. The creation of a a wholly-owned subsidiary of the city, tasked with the reconstruction of the historic core. This would obviously need to include a possession of buildings by the government, but upon any reconstruction these could be sold again to serve some public use.
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Old April 4th, 2017, 08:55 PM   #5759
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robertwood View Post
While I think there is a place for modern architecture in Dresden (just not in the old city), most of it is pretty uninspiring. It seems to me that Dresden is almost a dumping ground for mediocre German architects who are somehow alright with building more Plattenbau-esque structures. Some stuff is alright, though it is not enough to tip the balance, and it doesn't surprise me that most Dresdeners dislike the modern architecture in their city.

Well put. The irony is that quite a few of the new buildings going up in Berlin are wonderful. They are contemporary and yet have a classical feel that is uniquely Berlin. In short, there are good modern architects to be found. Unfortunately none of them are in Dresden.


Well put. It is a fact: Dresden is a dumping ground for government officials and city planners. Those planners come from all parts of Germany and where moved there because of "unrepairable difficulties" with colleagues and superiors at their home cities.

Also: Some officials put it in writing that Dresden should get no reconstructions of the purpose of political reasons.

The best example you get if you compare new projects in downtown with the suburbs or neighbor towns. The difference is huge!!!

Suburbs, no design committee here:



Brand new buildings:








14 Units in different buildings:







source: gebler-Dresden-de


And now some project in downtown from der-immo-tip.de


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Old April 4th, 2017, 08:59 PM   #5760
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robertwood View Post
While I think there is a place for modern architecture in Dresden (just not in the old city), most of it is pretty uninspiring. It seems to me that Dresden is almost a dumping ground for mediocre German architects who are somehow alright with building more Plattenbau-esque structures. Some stuff is alright, though it is not enough to tip the balance, and it doesn't surprise me that most Dresdeners dislike the modern architecture in their city.

Well put. The irony is that quite a few of the new buildings going up in Berlin are wonderful. They are contemporary and yet have a classical feel that is uniquely Berlin. In short, there are good modern architects to be found. Unfortunately none of them are in Dresden.


Well put. It is a fact: Dresden is a dumping ground for government officials and city planners. Those planners come from all parts of Germany and where moved there because of "un-repairable difficulties" with colleagues and superiors at their home cities.
Government employees can not be laid-off in Germany, therefore moved to nowhere.

Also: Some officials put it in writing that Dresden should get no reconstructions of the purpose of political reasons.

The best example you get if you compare new projects in downtown with the suburbs or neighbor towns. The difference is huge!!!

Suburbs, no design committee here:



Brand new buildings:








14 Units in different buildings:







source: gebler-Dresden-de


And now some project in downtown from der-immo-tip.de


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