Longing for ornament (and authenticity) in Berlin-Mitte

So two weeks ago, I wrote this article about the conflicted stance towards ornamentation in architecture in Berlin. An illustrative example of this is the city palace reconstruction that is currently underway. Nothing says “conflicted history” more than a reconstructed palace, unless it’s a reconstructed palace with three facades of historical reconstruction and this on the massively visible side towards the central tourist area. Anyone, resident or visitor, that walks from Alexanderplatz towards Berlin’s highest building, the TV tower, will get a full view of this facade. I personally see a striking (and sort of scary) resemblance to the strict…

Longing for ornament: Symbolism and architecture in post-Wall Berlin

I’ve begun work on an expanded and updated version of my dissertation, which means I’m going back through my work on symbolism, politics, and architecture. In doing so, I stumbled over some notes I made for an article about contemporary German architecture’s timid approach to symbolism and ornament, which I’ve decided to develop here. Have a look!