For students of art and design, there are many cities in Europe that offer a wide range of architecturally important buildings, but Berlin, in Germany, is one of the most interesting and valuable as a learning experience. The capital of Germany (and its largest city), with just over 3.45 million inhabitants, Berlin makes extensive use of green space and boasts many important and iconic buildings and structures.
Students travelling to Berlin to study the city’s architectural and artistic achievements will be rewarded with an experience most educational. Visit the Fernsehturm, the Berlin Philharmonic Concert Hall, the Rotes Rathaus, and the Schloss Charlottenburg, to get an excellent overview of architecture in Berlin since the end of the Second World War.
The Fernsehturm – With its name literally translating from German as ‘television tower’, on any educational visit to Berlin students cannot miss the Fernsehturm – literally. It is located in Alexanderplatz and was constructed between 1965 and 1969 by the former German Democratic Republic. It was designed with ideas from Hermann Henselmann and Jörg Streitparth, which were later added to by Walter Herzog and Herbert Aust. It was originally 365 metres tall, but the addition of the new antennae in the 1990s added an extra 3 metres. At its current height, it is the tallest structure in Germany and visible from many places in the city.
Berlin Philharmonic Concert Hall – Located at Herbert-von-Karajan-Str. 1, Berlin, the Philharmonic Concert Hall was designed by Hans Scharoun and completed in 1963. This ‘organic’ and ‘futuristic interpretation’ was built as a replacement for the previous Berlin Philharmonic Concert Hall that was destroyed in World War Two. An educational visit to the current Philharmonic Concert Hall will take students through the two auditoriums, which hold 2,500 and 1,200 people, respectively. The auditorium itself appears as a concave bowl from the inside, and the ceiling angles and drapes in a fashion that serves to capture and project the music in a rhythmic fashion. The exterior’s façade complements the Tiergarten, which is located directly north, and is finished in a soft, yellow-coloured metal to keep the natural landscape in mind.
Rotes Rathaus – An educational visit to Berlin’s Mitte district will take students to view the imposing façade of the Rotes Rathaus, or the Red City Hall – Berlin’s town hall. The hall itself is home to the current mayor of the city and gets its name from the distinctive red clinker bricks. Originally built between 1861 and 1869, by architect Hermann Friedrich Waesemann, the Rotes Rathaus is designed in the Italian ‘High Renaissance’ style. During World War Two, the building suffered heavy damage from Allied bombers but was rebuilt in 1951 according to the original plans.
Schloss Charlottenburg – After viewing the current home of government at the Rotes Rathaus, a trip to see the largest palace in Berlin, the Schloss Charlottenburg (Spandauer Damm 10), will be a natural continuation on an educational visit. The palace was built at the end of the 17th century and was greatly expanded in the 18th. The palace was commissioned by Sophie Charlotte and designed by architect Johann Arnold Nering. The overall style is Baroque, with a façade decorated with Corinthian pilasters. As with several of the other buildings in the city, the palace was badly damaged during World War Two and has since been reconstructed.