One of the busiest places in the world during the 20's and later the sad motif of a divided city, Potsdamer Platz became the symbol of Berlin's renewal after the fall of the Berlin Wall. Once completed, Potsdamer Platz presented itself as a city within the city, as a location where the most varied urban planning principles of the outgoing 20th and incoming 21st century were jointly realised.
The designs submitted by the architects Hilmer
Sattler, which called for two distinct types of city development, won the publicly awarded city planning contest "Ideenwettbewerb Potsdamer Platz / Leipziger Platz" (Competition of Ideas for Potsdamer Platz / Leipziger Platz) in 1991. On the one side, the final decision prescribed a dense construction of midsized structures in the style of "the European City" with roughly 35 metre high buildings, streets and quiet squares all orientated on the historical ground plan of the area. On the other side, a distinct vertical accent has been set by such high-rises as the Debis Centre or the Sony Center, the latter with its landmark "floating" umbrella roof.
Daily, some 70,000 people are underway at Potsdamer Platz. Due to its new suburban train station - the north-south route of the city underground (line U2) and suburban train (lines S1, S2 and S25) all cross here - Potsdamer Platz has been reinstated to its traditional position as a city hub.