Sunday, October 31, 2010

Unter den Linden 1 - 4

In this weekend I have uploaded two new models to the Warehouse, located both on the Unter den Linden boulevard in Mitte.

Lets start with the Alte Kommandantur.

The Kommandantenhaus was originally a baroque residential building dating back from 1653, designed by architect Johann Gregor Memhardt. It was enlarged first in 1795-99 to serve as the residence of the Berlin garrison commandant.

At some point in the late 19th century, the Alte Kommandantur lost its old roofing, and a third level was added.

As happened with other historical buildings in Berlin, the Kommandantenhaus was heavily damaged by the Allied "strategic" bombing campaign. The Communist would demolish the remains of the building to make room for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (they demolished the Bauakademie for that purpose as well).

The Ministry was demolished in 1995, and the Kommandantur was rebuilt between 1999 and 2003 to serve as Bertelsmann Berlin Headquarters.

And now, the Neue Wache.

The Royal New Guardhouse of Berlin was built by architect Schinkel following the wish of Friedrich Wilhelm III, King of Prussia, for a new guardhouse for the nearby Kronprinzenpalais. The Neue Wache would also serve as a war memorial, since the pediment sculpture was a representation of Nike, the Greek goddess of victory, deciding a battle in the Befreiungskriege (German Wars of Liberation from the French Empire).

The Neue Wache circa 1897, photochrom from the Library of Congress

After the German Revolution of 1918, the Neue Wache ceased to serve as a guardhouse. In 1931, architect Tessenow converted the building into a Memorial to the Fallen in War, and added the oculus to the ceiling. The building was damaged during WW2; after restoration, it served again as a guardhouse for the East German Volkspolizei/Nationale Volksarmee, and as a Memorial to the Victims of Fascism and Militarism (by this last word, they probably refered to Imperial Germany - interesting enough that the NVA held some massive parades in Unter den Linden).

Just a changing-the-guard ceremony in front of the Neue Wache, 1989

Parade for the 25th anniversary of the GDR, 1974

In 1995, after German Reunification, the Neue Wache was rededicated as the Central Memorial for the Victims of War and Tyranny.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Can you see it?

This picture is just a pre-release render. It's unfinished, but I hope to upload it soon to the Warehouse.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Kottbusser Tor

Kottbusser Tor was one of the original city gates, part of the so-called Berliner Zollmauer; the road through the gate lead to the town of Cottbus (Brandenburg). Both the U-Bahnhof and the area where it stands are named after the gate. However, that location is not where the original U- Bhf. Kottbusser Tor once stood.

U1 train type A3, leaving Kottbusser Tor on its way to Görlitzer Bahnhof.

The first station opened on February 18, 1902 as part of the U1 line. It was located near the corner of Mariannenstraße and Skalitzer Straße, and, as you can see in the picture below, shared the same shape of the U-Bhf. Oranienstraße (now Görlizter Bahnhof) .

This Station was demolished in 1926 following the construction of the U8 line. The current station was built ca. 170m westwards, and is now a two level station - The U1 platform is located in the elevated structure, and the one serving U8 is below ground level.

View of underground platform for the U8 line.

I also invite you to visit this interesting site (not mine), which has information and pictures of old U-Bahn stations. The website is in German, but I'm sure you will be easily able to understand.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Für Berlin, und Deutschland

As a gift to the German people in their holiday, today October 3, I have uploaded two new models to the Warehouse.

The Wittenbergplatz U-Bahnhof is one of the oldest U-Bahn stations in Berlin, having opened in March 1902. Here is a photo showing the first entrance.

In 1913, this entrance was replaced with a large hall built by architect Alfred Grenander in the Art Nouveau style. In 1952, the London Transport Board donated a London-Underground-like sign to conmemorate the 50 anniversary of the U-Bahn system (you can see the roundel as the logo of the model in the Warehouse).

Located in Kreuzberg, U-Bahnhof Görlizer Bahnhof opened in February 1902 as "U-Bhf Oranienstraße".

In 1926 it was renamed after the nearby Görlitzer Bahnhof, a railway terminus serving the mainline link connecting Berlin to Cottbus (Brandenburg), Görlitz (Saxony), Breslau (Silesia), and Vienna (Austria). The terminus was damaged in WW2 and demolished in the 1960s; however, the U-Bahnhof is preserved almost in its original condition.