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    Urban Construction  

 

Archive: The Capital City of Berlin - Documentation

A vital government quarter has been created


The integration of parliamentary and government buildings in the city also meant that Berlin's citizens and visitors would be allowed to use and experience this newly created area. Public life should not stop at the periphery of the government quarter. For this reason, those responsible in the city felt that a mixed-use of buildings would make more sense in order to create additional venues and infrastructure for citizens and parliamentarians.

In the case of the Reichstag (the historic building which houses the German Parliament) this concept was implemented with great success: The Reichstag's dome attracts millions of visitors each year and allows them a bird's-eye view from the German Bundestag, the political centre of the German Federal Republic. A majority of the federal ministries, however, decided against public areas within their own buildings because of extreme security requirements and demanded properties without public access.

And yet, it is not accurate to refer to the government quarter as a "ghetto" when one sees the sheer amount of citizens and visitors that explore and use this newly created urban area, and the enthusiasm they bring with them. This urban no-man's-land, a scar of the country's division, has all but disappeared. There are only a couple of areas, at the Spreebogen (a curve in the Spree River) at Alexanderufer and along the Wilhelmstraße opposite the Finance Ministry, which are still awaiting their final determination.
The Reichstag
2004 - Platz der Republik - public life
2004 - Platz der Republik - public life