Berlin Must-Sees: Potsdamer Platz

18 09 2007

Before WW2, Potsdamer Platz was a very busy square, a central transportation hub, with numerous bars, cafés and cinemas. The place was badly damaged in the war, and after the war, it became a junction of the American, British and Soviet sectors, and was cut through by the Berlin Wall. So it became a no man’s land in the middle of the city.

After the Wall came done, the area around Potsdamer Platz became the biggest construction site in Europe. Between the years 1993 and 1998, a completely new quarter was built there, very modern, with high rise buildings and a lot of metallic décor. The square, together with several adjacent blocks, were redeveloped under the supervision of the architects Wilmer and Sattler.

Potsdamer Platz.

The DaimlerChrysler complex.

The land there is owned by DaimlerChrysler, the motor company, which also has offices there. Also, the place houses Sony’s European quarters. The Sony store there is a real playground for gadget lovers like Shooky (You can leave your man there, and come back a few hours later without him noticing).

The Sony Center was designed by the German-American architect Helmut Jahn. It consists of 7 individual buildings, and its central feature is the oval “Forum”, a public area with a very exceptional “roof” construction, as you can see in the pictures here. The Sony Center also includes a glass tower block, the tallest building in the square (103 meters high).

Sony Center. The open Forum inside Sony Center. The Forum’s roof.

And there is also the brown brick Kollhoff building, designed by the architect Hans Kollhoff, with the fastest express elevator in Europe, which leads to a panorama platform, 93 meters high.

The Kollhoff building.

Haus Huth

The old Weinhaus Huth is the only imperial German building in Potsdamer Platz that survived the war and the postwar ear largely unscathed. It was originally a restaurant, wine merchant’s shop and wine bar, and then became a private house (of the Huth family) and a warehouse. DaimlerChrysler aquired it in 1990.

Haus Huth.

Haus Huth is now the headquarters of DaimlerChrysler’s Corporate Representative Office in Berlin. The exhibition rooms on the fourth floor accommodate the DaimlerChrysler Art Collection, open daily between 11 a.m. and 6 p.m. (free entrance). In front of it you can find the statue “Riding Bikes” by Robert Rauschenberg.

Berlin Wall Monuments

You can also find a section of the Berlin Wall near the Potsdamer Platz, and some smaller parts scattered around. Also, one of the three remaining watch towers of the over 300 towers of the Wall can be found on Erna-Berger-Straße, very close to the square.

Wall Part in the area.

Some Links

The official site of Potsdamer Platz.

Sony Center website.

Article: An Urban Experiment in Central Berlin: Planning Potsdamer Platz


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One response to “Berlin Must-Sees: Potsdamer Platz”

18 09 2007
Yohay (10:37:17) :

It sure is an exciting place. Another link, if I may add, is of an interactive panorama of the square at night.
http://www.panoramas.dk/fullscreen6/f35-berlin.html

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