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Old April 27th, 2008, 04:29 AM   #41
OakRidge
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Iluminat View Post
It's too amercian for me...
Too "modern" for me. They should have went full on neo classical.
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Old April 27th, 2008, 05:17 AM   #42
goschio
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Looks like a prison.
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Old April 27th, 2008, 05:27 AM   #43
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I like it
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Old May 3rd, 2008, 07:14 AM   #44
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I don't care for the building, but in comparison to most of the other high-security buildings the US has been putting out recently it looks relatively okay. At least it has windows on the lower floors. I'm glad to see that they didn't make the design any worse than it is.
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Old May 16th, 2008, 12:21 PM   #45
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"warmer and fuzzier" sound like toilet seat covers
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Old May 16th, 2008, 12:42 PM   #46
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It looks like a typical office building, nothing special... i think the new turkish embassy is much more better...
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Old May 16th, 2008, 01:14 PM   #47
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Quote:
Originally Posted by goschio View Post
Looks like a prison.
i agree, it seriously looks like a prison. they really could have done something better. but too late now i guess? who on earth would have approved this in the first place tho
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Old May 21st, 2008, 11:35 PM   #48
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Typical. Boring. American architecture. Bleh.

And I'm American...
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Old May 22nd, 2008, 08:43 PM   #49
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horrible looking building
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Old May 26th, 2008, 01:59 PM   #50
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U.S. Embassy moving back to location it held in German capital before the Second World War
19 May 2008

BERLIN (AP) - The U.S. Embassy in Berlin moves back this week to its historic location in the center of the German capital, which it abandoned after Nazi Germany declared war on the United States in 1941.

Ambassador William Timken told reporters Monday that the embassy's return to Pariser Platz will be officially marked on the Fourth of July with speeches by Chancellor Angela Merkel and former President George H.W. Bush, followed by traditional Independence Day fireworks over the Brandenburg Gate.

The actual move, however, comes this weekend and the building will be opened Tuesday, the day after Memorial Day, Timken said.

"This is the closing of a long circle dating back to before 1940..." Timken told reporters. "This is not simply turning a key on a new facility -- this is history in the making."

The original embassy building was damaged in a fire in 1931. By the time U.S. diplomats moved into it in April 1939, Washington had already recalled its chief envoy to protest an anti-Semitic pogrom.

Remaining diplomats left in 1941 after Germany declared war on the United States, a few days after the Nazi's ally Japan bombed Pearl Harbor, and Washington responded in kind.

Like many buildings in downtown Berlin, the building was heavily damaged during World War II and then later razed by communist East Germany. For nearly three decades during the Cold War, the site stood in the heavily fortified no man's land behind the Berlin Wall.

In 1987, President Ronald Reagan stood just a few yards (meters) away on the western side as he urged Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev to "tear down this wall."

World War II allies France and Britain already have built their embassies in the same area as the U.S. site, while America has been operating out of a temporary facility a few blocks away. Germany's national Holocaust memorial is across the street.

One hurdle to the new U.S. mission was a law passed after the 1998 bombing of U.S. embassies in Africa, requiring all new American embassies to be built at least 100 feet (30 meters) from the nearest road. Berlin officials balked at agreeing to the demand, saying it would cut into the city's main park. Washington broke the logjam in 2001, by easing the law's requirements for the Berlin project.

Another stumbling block came after the Congress slashed the original $180 million budget to $130 million, which meant the embassy design had to be modified -- losing a planned basement, among other things, Timken said.

The bustling Pariser Platz will be shut off to the public for the July 4th celebration, which some 4,500 invited guests are expected to attend. In addition to Merkel and Bush -- who was president at the time of German reunification in 1990 and is President Bush's father -- a group of U.S. pilots who flew missions in the 1948-49 Berlin Airlift will also be on hand, Timken said.

The airlift came after the Soviets blockaded all land and water traffic to Berlin in an attempt to squeeze the allies out of the city in 1948. In one of the most significant Cold War confrontations, the Western allies flew some 280,000 flights keeping the 2 million citizens of Berlin supplied with fuel and food until the Soviets backed down 11 months later.

"Those pilots were most certainly all too familiar with the original embassy ... as it stood in ruins beside the Brandenburg Gate," Timken said. "I can imagine how moving the grand opening of our new embassy on the same site will be for these pilots who will be returning. Their sacrifice has come full circle."
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Old May 26th, 2008, 02:04 PM   #51
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Omg - what a shame. Looks disgusting.
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Old May 26th, 2008, 03:22 PM   #52
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Huh! Looks like a mundane suburban office building.
British and French embassies look much better :



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Old May 26th, 2008, 03:44 PM   #53
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www.dw-world.de, 11.05.2008 :

Quote:
New US Embassy in Berlin Triggers Architecture Debate

Removal of the scaffolding from the US embassy construction site in Berlin has triggered fresh debate about this symbol of Washington's power on the site of the former Berlin Wall.

The embassy is set to be inaugurated on July 4, US Independence Day, but tourists are already snapping pictures of the building, which has a front door on prestigious Pariser Platz, with the Brandenburg Gate, French embassy and luxurious Adlon Hotel as neighbors.

Its completion fills the last gap on an upscale square that in less than two decades has turned into a gallery of contemporary architecture. The US project was delayed by years of wrangling with the city of Berlin over buffer zones to foil car bombings.

Lines of waist-high pillars are the most obvious security features around the four-storey sandstone building, which has its longest frontage not on the square but on a four-lane road, which is where most tourists in buses will see it first.

The embassy Web site says the design is intended to "provide an open yet secure presentation of America."


Great view -- for the ambassador

From the penthouse, US Ambassador William Timken will have a panorama of Berlin history all around him.

The view has been carefully composed to show the Quadriga horses on top of the Brandenburg Gate seeming to ride across the embassy's rooftop garden of native American grasses. Timken will also have a close-up view of the dome on the Reichstag and the Tiergarten park. To the south, the embassy faces the somber Holocaust Memorial, with the office towers of Potsdamer Platz, 400 meters (a quarter of a mile) away.

Timken remembers standing on the site as a visitor to Germany in the early 1990s when it was weed-covered wasteland.

"The Berlin Wall had stood there just a short time before with the 'death strip' next to it," said Timken, who arrived as ambassador in 2005. "I couldn't have imagined it as the site for our embassy." He spoke of his "wonder" at the embassy's return to the historic site.


Security before aesthetics

Much about the building's design seems influenced by security needs rather than such emotions: the walls are reinforced, the glass bomb-proof, and a strong fence separates the site from the main road where visitors to the consular office enter the building.

The security is part of the price the United States has paid since the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on New York and Washington.

But compared to the old US embassy in Berlin, which is isolated behind ugly concrete and steel barriers with gun-toting guards, the airy, $120-million (78-million euro) new embassy with its many windows seems like a project in disarmament.

Dated, 1980s design, say critics

But architecture critic Gerwin Zohlen is unimpressed. He partly called the newly unveiled exterior "boring" and a "rather uninspired" example of 1980s post-modernism that was already out of date.

He suggested Berliners nickname the building by California architects Moore Ruble Yudell the "Pancake," in reference to the main-road side that tourists will pass on their way to the Holocaust Memorial.

"It gives the impression of being horizontally stretched out," he told DPA news agency.

Instead of projecting the grandeur of a superpower, the building suggested a nation that had given up being world policeman and withdrawn into self-defense, Zohlen said.

"It would look okay in the US Midwest. But it doesn't suit an inner city in 'Old Europe.'"

Zohlen said the stonework was shoddy and the building looked "cheap," a view that has a basis in fact, since the US Congress pared back the construction budget by $60 million compared to the original proposal.

He called the building "bunker-style," a charge also lobbed at the French embassy, which opened across the square in 2003.

Ambassador Timken, however, spoke out in defense of the building's security features before the scaffolding came down, saying it was the price of building on the inner-city site.

It would have been easy to build a compound with an ample buffer zone well away from the city center, but the diplomats had wanted to be "part of Germany" at the heart of Berlin.

Berlin makes concessions

The city wanted that too, and made some concessions so the project could go ahead. Ebertstrasse, which separates the embassy from the park, was slightly realigned so the buffer zone would be wider.

In any case, the US mission is not the only embassy fixated on security. The British embassy ensured that Berlin closed its street to all traffic.

The US link to Pariser Platz goes back to the early 1930s when the United States bought a fire-gutted palace there, but could not restore it at first because of the Great Depression.

When Adolf Hitler came to power, the US embassy was in rented premises.

The embassy finally moved to Pariser Platz as Hitler's chief architect, Albert Speer, was drawing up grandiose plans to rip down the old diplomatic quarter of Berlin and put a Nazi showcase in its place. Germany and the United States went to war in 1941.

The postwar communist authorities ripped down the ruins, but the land remained US property and was recovered after the communist system collapsed in 1989.


DW staff / DPA (ncy)
http://www.dw-world.de/dw/article/0,...325836,00.html




The American embassy is on the right.


Last edited by Alvar Lavague; May 26th, 2008 at 03:53 PM.
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Old June 8th, 2008, 01:15 AM   #54
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Its not my cup of tea but oh well!
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Old June 14th, 2008, 01:47 AM   #55
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Could be worst. At least it has windows, and no walls as in other parts of the world.
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Old June 14th, 2008, 03:28 AM   #56
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It's better looking than the German embassy in Washington D.C.
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Old June 14th, 2008, 12:52 PM   #57
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Such an eyesore. Totally wrong location. But as said, it could be even worse. If it were located in some more suitable place it wouldn't look nearly as hideous as it does now.
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Old June 14th, 2008, 04:29 PM   #58
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This builing looks like a prison.
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Old June 15th, 2008, 10:24 AM   #59
goschio
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Icantthinkofaname View Post
This builing looks like a prison.

It is a prison. A prison for americans.
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And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it.
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Old June 17th, 2008, 12:30 AM   #60
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So funny i forgot to laugh!
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