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Old June 15th, 2017, 05:53 PM   #5901
qjone2
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Originally Posted by socrates#1fan View Post
I love that building.
I love it as well, as well as the one directly across the square from it. They are worthy replacements of the buildings that once stood there, while simultaneously giving voice to Dresden's diverse and sometimes tumultuous history. The Kulturpalast was originally to look similar, though much more monumental –somewhat like the Palace of Culture and Science in Warsaw or the Seven sisters in Moscow– but instead we got what it is now, truly the antithesis of beautiful and a tumour on the Altstadt.

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If only they kept rebuilding in that style rather than shifting to modernist architecture.
I agree. The sad thing is that some early modern buildings were really beautiful – stripped back and yet still somehow classically beautiful. I myself particularly like Expressionism, which gave us structures like this:















A surviving example actually exists in Dresden –perhaps the only example that ever existed– on Theaterstraße, near the Postplatz:





Just goes to show that 'modern' doesn't have to be steel and glass boxes. Cool expressionist-esque buildings still pop up from time to time.
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Old June 15th, 2017, 07:00 PM   #5902
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I love it as well, as well as the one directly across the square from it.
They look nice and are definitely the most ambitious early post war buildings Dresden. But the communist rebuilding of the Altmarkt produced probably the biggest error in urban Planning after 1945. Not only did they extend the square massively. It's even worse that they cut off almost all streets leading towards the square from the surrounding quarters, which made it almost impossible to integrate the square adequately in the city structure. The result can be seen today. The area behind the western Altmarkt front is just one huge shopping center, occupying almost a quarter of the former old town.



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Old June 15th, 2017, 10:11 PM   #5903
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Was it sheer stupidity, retribution, deliberate assault on history/beauty, or simple communist philosophy that led them to commit this crime?
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Old June 15th, 2017, 10:36 PM   #5904
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Well, historic structures and city plans didn't mean a lot that time, no big differences in West or East. But in the west architects mostly had to acknowledge private ownership of ground in the cities. The cities in the east were planned in big structures right from the beginning, ignoring ownership issues. The Altmarkt along with the Wilsdruffer Straße (Thälmannstraße) was planned as a huge square for parades and demonstrations. That was its main purpose. In the early 50s, the surrounding area was a huge wasteland cleared from the rubbel. I don not think, that anyone had in mind to rebuilt the city according to the medieval grid plan. After all they followed soviet inspired instructions for a "socialist" city.
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Old June 16th, 2017, 03:29 AM   #5905
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They look nice and are definitely the most ambitious early post war buildings Dresden. But the communist rebuilding of the Altmarkt produced probably the biggest error in urban Planning after 1945. Not only did they extend the square massively. It's even worse that they cut off almost all streets leading towards the square from the surrounding quarters, which made it almost impossible to integrate the square adequately in the city structure. The result can be seen today. The area behind the western Altmarkt front is just one huge shopping center, occupying almost a quarter of the former old town.
All very true. The Altmarkt does feel very cold in a way because it is so cut off from the rest of the city. The expanded Wilsdruffer Straße divides the old town and leaves the square wedged between two major roads. Also of course the sheer size of it. At least other large market squares in Europe are often joined by numerous small streets.

The Altmarkt Galerie was another mistake, really. But big shopping malls seem to be prevalent in a lot of former GDR cities (looking at you, Chemnitz). The old streets could've been restored (modern or reconstructions, both would've been better than what we've got) as dead ends against the Stalinist building on the Altmarkt, perhaps with passages through that building onto the square. These would have been high density shopping streets anyway, and a much more efficient use of space than the Galerie.

Theoretically, if you wanted to, the square could also be restored to prewar dimensions. This would require taking the Stalinist buildings off their foundations and moving them forward a couples of meters onto new foundations. This is an annoying process but actually much more common than I thought.
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Old June 19th, 2017, 02:59 PM   #5906
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http://panorama.dresden.de/

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Old June 20th, 2017, 04:41 AM   #5907
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A photo of the old Wilsdruffer/König-Johann Straße (1936) I had to share. It looks so full of life



A shame the GDR chose to widen the street so much, instead of just letting the ring absorb the bulk of traffic like it's meant to.
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Old June 20th, 2017, 11:18 AM   #5908
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The north side of Wilsdruffer / König-Johann street should definitely be reconstructed one day.
Heck, they could even build historicist facades in front of the Kulturpalast, who would really mind.
(They won't tear it down for decades to come, after the latest expensive renovation)
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Old June 20th, 2017, 12:35 PM   #5909
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Am I getting my directions confused? Was Wilsdruffer Straße not widened to the north, thus preventing reconstructions there – hence why the Neumarkt reconstructions haven't been extended much to the south.

It was my belief that they could theoretically begin reconstructing the southern side tomorrow if they wanted, because it is still aligned with the historical street line. Unfortunately, all of the GDR era buildings there (even the mediocre ones) are heritage listed I think.

I find it ironic that a lot of opponents of the Neumarkt reconstruction described how the city centre was being turned into an 'open air museum', and yet it seems today that every second (horrible) 1960s/70s build is under monument protection.

If it the word 'Kultur' wasn't tacked onto the name of the Kulturpalast, I dare say it wouldn't have received the protection it did and maybe could have been done away with. And am I right in thinking that Wilsdruffer Straße is essentially a two lane street again, and its width is only maintained by the tram lines and the recently installed underground parking entrances (the real kicker against any potential narrowing)?
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Old June 28th, 2017, 01:31 AM   #5910
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Here is a thread that examines this street:

http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showthread.php?t=1607530
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Old July 1st, 2017, 01:26 PM   #5911
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So I visited Dresden a week ago and I have to say I really liked the reconstructed parts of the old town, I hope they keep up the good work. Outside the old town the city looks like a wasteland though - something that shocked me a bit. Are there any plans to rebuild anything outside the old town, maybe narrowing those ridiculous post-war boulevards? Also there were some rather nasty-looking buildings visible from the Augustusbrücke as well. I never ventured into the neustadt north of the bridge which I regret since looking at google maps it looks pretty intact.
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Old July 1st, 2017, 02:14 PM   #5912
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So I visited Dresden a week ago and I have to say I really liked the reconstructed parts of the old town, I hope they keep up the good work. Outside the old town the city looks like a wasteland though - something that shocked me a bit. Are there any plans to rebuild anything outside the old town, maybe narrowing those ridiculous post-war boulevards? Also there were some rather nasty-looking buildings visible from the Augustusbrücke as well. I never ventured into the neustadt north of the bridge which I regret since looking at google maps it looks pretty intact.
It's very unlikely anything more will be reconstructed in the Altstadt (beyond what is already planned). Not only have a lot of the streets been widened, but the street alignment has shifted/been changed radically in certain crucial locations. Other than that, a lot of GDR architecture has been heritage listed and would disrupt any meaningful plans to rebuild.

The only thing I can see maybe being reconstructed at some point is the Sophienkirche, a gothic church that was once located on the western edge of the oldtown. It was damaged in the war, and despite the fact there were initially plans to restore it, money was short in the GDR, it deteriorated, and was eventually demolished.





There is a potential for some reconstructions in the inner Neustadt, which was massively damaged to the east, but largely preserved in the west.

Some structures that could maybe be reconstructed (still very unlikely):





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Old July 1st, 2017, 02:41 PM   #5913
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So I visited Dresden a week ago and I have to say I really liked the reconstructed parts of the old town, I hope they keep up the good work. Outside the old town the city looks like a wasteland though - something that shocked me a bit. [...]
We can divide Dresden into three categories. 1st The inner old town, with most of the well known monuments and the recent reconstructions. 2nd The surrounding historical Vorstädte, a formerly compact Gründerzeit ring, was (left of the Elbe) almost completely annihilated 1945. But 3rd, behind that zone of total destruction, there are some very well preserved outskirts with many luxurios mansions in a very picturesque landscape (Striesen, Blasewitz, Loschwitz, Weißer Hirsch) and well preserved old village cores. Most tourist don't advance to this very lovely places (which include also independent cities like Radebeul up to Meißen in the north or Pirna in the south) because they think the modern and socialist architecture bordering the old town signals the end of watchable Dresden.
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Old July 1st, 2017, 03:01 PM   #5914
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Thanks for your replies, I really hope those buildings will some day be reconstructed. I can see why some of the earlier stalinist buildings are being listed, however, the later commie blocks surely are nothing to preserve? Even if the surrounding inner city isn't rebuilt in a classical style it probably has to at some point regain its city structure and old street plan. Surely massive open spaces and concrete blocks dotted here and there won't do?

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Old July 1st, 2017, 03:18 PM   #5915
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Surely massive open spaces and concrete blocks dotted here and there won't do?
I have no doubt these areas will be redeveloped eventually, but almost certainly not historically. The Gründerzeit structures once found there were very grand, and would consequently be very expensive to rebuild. Also, of course, the street plan has been changed and I can't see the city adhereing to the old plans.

Some pictures:









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Old July 1st, 2017, 04:40 PM   #5916
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Such a massive loss. Even if the old street plan isn't adopted it would still be problematic to redevelop the inner city on the current one as it is very dated. Modern city planning is (at least in theory) about building dense urban city blocks.
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Old July 1st, 2017, 05:30 PM   #5917
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It always strikes me when I see how spatious Dresden's streets looked before the war, the city wasn't overcrowded and congested (except maybe in the Old Town, but not that much compared to other European old towns), there were many plazas and parks, it's just sad to look at the city now and see, well, nothing. I'm convinced if it survived the war or if it got reconstructed, it would be at the top of the cities with the best quality of life. To see that potential wasted by indoctrinated politicians is really frustrating.

Anyway, as I've been researching Dresden and its architecture for a couple of years now, I've stumbled upon a building, Palais Moszinska, a palace with a beautiful and important Baroque garden that was demolished in 1871, with its plot divided, sold and used as construction site for then growing city. However, due to lack of source material in English, I can't find the exact location of the former building, and what's more interesting to me, I can't find many photos of the historicist buildings that replaced it after the building was demolished. I'm also interested in your opinion about reconstruction of such delicate spaces where important buildings were destroyed even before the war, would you like to see the latest building there (usually historicist) or architecturally the most important one (Baroque palaces)? Such dilemmas were present at Neumarkt, where they mostly decided to reconstruct the older buildings. Thanks in advance.
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Old July 1st, 2017, 10:59 PM   #5918
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Titan Man View Post
However, due to lack of source material in English, I can't find the exact location of the former building,
Wikipedia is your friend:
geo:51.04053,13.7389

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Originally Posted by Titan Man View Post
and what's more interesting to me, I can't find many photos of the historicist buildings that replaced it after the building was demolished.
before the bombs:
http://www.das-neue-dresden.de/image...ener-platz.jpg
(right side in the middle)

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I'm also interested in your opinion about reconstruction of such delicate spaces where important buildings were destroyed even before the war, would you like to see the latest building there (usually historicist) or architecturally the most important one (Baroque palaces)? Such dilemmas were present at Neumarkt, where they mostly decided to reconstruct the older buildings. Thanks in advance.
Thats a tough question. I cant say that and I think it depents on the location/architecture/surroundings. I would say, relocation of a site like the Moszinska Palais and its garden is also an option. I mean its easier to relocate a relatively small house than a whole district like shown in the picture above. Also if the house is not so important for its surroundings and would look great alone, too, I would relocate it. And in the end you have both. =) I am also a fan of relocating this from the Great Garden to the Elbe:
https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/St%C3%...alast_(Dresden)
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Old July 1st, 2017, 11:42 PM   #5919
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Thanks so much for the answer. I would like to see it reconstructed one day (although highly unlikely to happen), and looking at the photo, I think that the relocation of the palace and the garden would probably be the best solution, as you said, it would not be feasible to be move the whole district.
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Old July 2nd, 2017, 03:13 AM   #5920
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I'm also interested in your opinion about reconstruction of such delicate spaces where important buildings were destroyed even before the war, would you like to see the latest building there (usually historicist) or architecturally the most important one (Baroque palaces)?
I general, I think the most recent building should almost always be reconstructed in favour of something older, especially if it was itself purposefully demolished. The only real exception I can see would be in cases of 'Entstuckung', where buildings purposefully had the stucco and ornamental features on their facades stripped off in an attempt to be modern. This was happening as early as 1920, and was especially prevalent in historicist and art nouveau buildings. I think that it would be safe to say that examples of this could still be found in the Outer Neustadt, although I know definitively of one case in the Altstadt before the war:



This Jugendstil building, located on (today's) Wilsdruffer Straße opposite the Altmarkt, would, in the late 1920s, be stripped completely bare.
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