Shameless self-publicity


A brief post to mention that I have a couple of pieces in the October issue of UK-based Blueprint magazine.  One is a review of the current Bauhaus show at Gropiusbau, the other an opinion piece on what could be learned from Berlin’s IBA demonstration housing project of the 1980s (my pet subject).

Blueprint has done a kind of Berlin/London themed edition, featuring designers and architects from Berlin, as well as a piece on Tempelhof, among other things.

Available in all good bookstores in the UK, and in Berlin (at least in those expensive magazine/bookstores where you spend hours browsing all the archiporn but never actually buy anything except a couple of postcards).

Categories : IBA 87

Still here…


It’s been manic lately, so not much time to blog, sorry. So instead, a few snaps of things I’ve been up to recently, like a sort of intermission, while I’m away. Will have a bit more time next week, so prepare yourselves for more incisive, thoughtful and witty writing on architecture. Then be disappointed, and just read my blog instead, ha, ha.

The Tag des Offenen Denkmals was good fun, although I got lazy on the sunday (2nd day) and decided not to do much.  Did the Akademie der Kunst (new branch on Pariserplatz) in which the highlight was the basement (below) and the Haus des Lehrers, in which the highlight was the bit where they stopped the dumb corporate light show in the main chamber so we could actually have a good look at it:

… an amazing school on Lausitzerplatz (which I’ve mentioned before, part of the IBA) which I was able to go round with Werkfabrik, the original architects:

and from tomorrow, I’ll be manning a stand for Art in America magazine, over at the Art Forum Berlin:

Popping across the road to see Hans Poelzig’s wonderful Haus des Rundfunk (House of Radio)

and wondering why so much new architecture in Berlin is just so, well, crap. This, the Zoofenster building, which could have been so much better.

Will write lots about each of these very soon. Promise!

All just a facade (4)


News reaches me* that the Humboldt Forum, Berlin’s deeply pointless and Disney-esque plan to rebuild Berlin’s Baroque palace for the benefit of vacuous tourists, has hit a major glitch, with the winning architect being disqualified when it was realised his practice never met the criteria for entry into the competition.

A more coherent summary over at SLAB mag, and piece at der Taggesspiel (auf Deutsch).

My own previous witterings on the matter here, here and here, and a good site on the subject over at Schlossdebatte.

I can’t be the only person who’s already growing quite fond of the existence of a great big space in the centre of Berlin, complete with surviving hints of a colossal concrete basement, all overseen by the micro-presence of the Temporäre Kunsthalle.  Enjoy the view while it while it lasts.

*Quickly, for once.  The fact that’s in all the press, and several people told me yesterday, means I’m actually briefly up to date, rather than writing excitedly about something that occurred in 1984.

Thanks to Stibatz at Flickr for the image.

House of Travel, travelling.


Here’s a funny thing.  Artist Alexander Callsen has created a scale replica of the Haus des Reisens (’House of Travel’) in Alexanderplatz, and erected it up a mountain in the south of France.

Images above, copyright Alexander Callsen.

The information he circulated is brief, but it’s part of the Horizons art festival in the Auvergne region of France.  Ends on 20th Sept, so depending on when you’re reading this, you’ve probably missed it. Sorry.

Essentially a scaffold structure has been covered in canvas with photo-images of the original building’s elevations – pretty effective, looking at the images.

The real Haus des Reisens was built by the GDR between 1969 and 1971, and stands in Alexanderplatz, a place on which I have previously wittered. I’m not sure why such a large building was needed, since most citizens of the GDR weren’t able to travel anywhere much.  Ironic then that the building itself has been on a trip, sort of.

The Haus des Reisens, back in the day.  (Image from Wikimedia commons)

The building is currently only partially occupied, with the Week12end club (sic) having two floors, including the roof terrace (worth a visit just to see the view, if you can force your way past the neverending flow of drunken italian 17-year-olds on the staircase).

Architecture Stammtisch no.4 (second attempt)


A second attempt at having meetup no.4.

As ever, it’s just a few drinks and a chat, open to anyone who fancies talking about architecture and urban things in Berlin (and elsewhere), so do join us if you’re around.

This one will be on Wedensday, 16th September at 8pm, upstairs at Sankt Oberholz:

I’ll put a sign on the table, saying ‘Jim’ or ‘Architektur’ or something like that.

Useful to know if you’re coming, so I have an idea of numbers –

Bis Mittwoch!

Categories : Event