Urban Construction  

 

Archive: The Capital City of Berlin - Documentation

The Capital City of Berlin – A Challenge


On 20 June 1991 the decision was made: Berlin would once again become Germany's capital city. With only a small majority, representatives of the German Bundestag (the lower house of the German Parliament) voted to relocate the Parliament and Government to the city on the Spree River. The news was greeted with relief and joy in Berlin. Questions were also raised, however: How will the political institutions, which require considerable amounts of space, fit together with the city's historical centre? Fears of a bleak inner-city became audible. Everyone involved knew one thing right from the beginning: The relocation of government institutions to Berlin would require an extraordinary amount of integration, in which urban planning would have to prove itself.

Intensive discussions followed. The spatial accommodation of federal ministries, which due to reasons of function and representation favoured new buildings, was especially perplexing. Would it make sense to mitigate problems in the inner-city by moving parts of the ministries to the outskirts? This type of decentralised accommodation was never seriously taken into consideration, however, and several of the federal ministries planned to remain in Bonn anyway. It was not until the final distribution of the ministries was announced, when it became clear that existing buildings would be used, that fears were allayed. A compatible solution, which would save costs and space, had been found.