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Archive: The Capital City of Berlin - Documentation

From Pariser Platz to the Ministergärten


Karte - Vom Pariser Platz in die Ministergärten

Our path now leads via the Ebertstraße through the Brandenburger Tor to Pariser Platz. Pariser Platz together with the Brandenburger Tor is one of the city's strongest identification points, reconstructed in its historical form. Models and designing rules were developed and architecture competitions announced in order to recover the urban architectural and spatial quality of the historical ensemble. The square has been nearly completed by now; it accommodates the French Embassy, Liebermann House and Sommer House, the Academy of the Arts as well as business, residential and hotel buildings. Construction work on the American Embassy began in 2004 and should be completed by 2008. The realisation follows a revised design from a national competition by the architects Moore, Ruble and Yudell. Behrenstraße and Ebertstraße were displaced in order to create the required margin of security from the building.

The surface of the square was newly designed in 2001/2002 in order to regain Pariser Platz as a public urban area. The design concept is modelled on the appearance of the square at the turn of the (20th) century. The simple, spacious division of the area together with high-quality materials typical of Berlin underline the character of Pariser Platz as the gateway to the historical city centre.

Our stroll leads us on through the Wilhelmstraße past the British Embassy to the Ministergärten. The long, extended lots of representative noble palaces were once found here along the Wilhelmstraße on the east-west axis. They extended to the former Tiergarten park and the Akzisemauer (Excise Wall) built during the mid-eighteenth century to ensure import customs. At the beginning of the 19th century, the palaces were increasingly used as a location for ministries, which is the origin of the name Ministergärten. Both the Alte Reichskanzlei on Wilhelmstraße and the Neue Reichskanzlei planned by Albert Speer on Voßstraße were located on this terrain. Already in 1947 the buildings had been mostly torn down on orders of the Soviet military administration. Apartment buildings constructed in the prefabricated building method were not erected until between 1987 and 1991, with over 1,000 residential units altogether and a children's day-care center.

In 1992 the Federation and the State of Berlin agreed to house the provincial representatives and to erect the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe in the Ministergärten. There was also a consensus to continue to build up the residential area and add new apartment buildings. The centre of Berlin was to gain a new urban architectural structure as a location for politics, sciences, culture and residence, whilst remaining a socially balanced location. During the course of the development measure, the district was newly opened up through the Behrenstraße, Cora-Berliner-Straße, Gertrud-Kolmar-Straße and the street In den Ministergärten. A sports field was installed in the Gertrud-Kolmar-Straße. The provincial representatives of Schleswig-Holstein and Lower Saxony, Rhineland-Palatinate, Saarland and Hessen moved to the Ministergärten as well.
2007 - Pariser Platz and the Brandenburger Tor
2007 - Pariser Platz and the Brandenburger Tor

2002 - British Embassy
2002 - British Embassy

2006 - Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe
2006 - Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe