Success! And more…


It’s like a sort of IBA-related Christmas, Easter and birthday come at once. Early last week, a Senate Baukollegium was held, where our ‘campaign team’ was able to put its case to Senate Building Director Frau Regula Lüscher, the Mayor of Kreuzberg-Friedrichshain and others.  Robert Slinger, Florian Köhl and Matthias Reese represented the campaign.

The result, officially announced via an interview with Frau Lüscher in today’s Morgenpost, is that the building is to be restored to its original design, including its distinctive colour scheme, which is fantastic news in itself.  But in addition, the borough of Kreuzberg is keen to see the area in front of the tower properly landscaped, and even to see Hejduk’s designs for two small pavilions, Studio for the painter, and Studio for the musician, built on the site.  Both formed part of the original design, and were intended to flank the entrance route to the tower – they were actually constructed for the 1987 IBA exhibition in the Martin Gropius Bau, but are assumed not to have survived.  Images of all this to be added here shortly, in the meantime, a glimpse of the Musician from beneath the Painter (I think) at the exhibition:

Frau Lüscher goes on to say in the interview that although Denkmalschutz (statutory heritage protection) is not the right tool for protecting IBA buildings, a formal procedure is to be established for building owners proposing alterations.

Finally, links to a couple of previous Morgenpost pieces, one on the future of the IBA buildings, the other an interview with Renata Hejduk.  If you have problems reading the full articles, you can usually just google the complete headline, which allows you to bypass the charging system. Oddly.

And finally finally, I notice someone has picked out the Kreuzberg Tower complex on one of the Google-earth-bird’s-eye-view-type things, here.  Interestingly, the building immediately to the west, with a semicircular rear facade, is another IBA building, by Raimund Abraham, who sadly died just a few weeks ago.

Categories : 1980s   IBA 87   John Hejduk
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  1. Wow, congratulations! That was almost *too* easy – at least, a lot easier, and a lot more successful, than a similar camapign would be in UK. Let’s hope it’s a precedent, too. Great work all round.

    Matt Tempest, April 24, 2010
  2. [...] UPDATE 25.04.10- Great News! [...]

  3. well done though I hope they don’t protect the po-mo dross. I personally think the semi-circular court building beside Hedjuk’s is poor. a client of mine is trying to buy bonjour tristesse, know it down I say though it’s built likea bunker.
    Anyone notice OMAs groundfloor at Checkpoint Charlie is being remodelled again, lots of concrete sawing going on. McDonalds and what looks like an small commercial unit (in place of a generous stairwell entrance, now a minimal corridor width)

    fergus_b, April 30, 2010
  4. Hi Fergus
    Yes, actually a recent new stammtisch member lives in the MBM block (and her friend in the OMA I think) flagged this up, thought we might all pile round for a mini tour soon!

    admin, April 30, 2010
  5. feel free to ring our bell if you do come around. we’re over where cafe adler used to be (now a cafe einstein, just like all the others). interestingly the original OMA ground floor was a bus station, the end of the line (… you are now leaving . ….etc etc) and up until recently a food court (the germans had the subway franchise, there were orientals serving chinapfanne and sushi, italians serving pizza and turkish men serving döner and köfte, bit like a foodie euro-disney). mcdonalds due to open 22.05., that’s what is known as “Convergence”, someone has scrawled “voraussichtlich” on the sign in the last few days.

    fergus_b, May 4, 2010
  6. [...] Due to a savage workload and a beastly cold, or a beastly workload and a savage cold, I’ve fallen way behind in the coverage of the Hejduk saga. Suffice to say, much has happened, and much has been achieved. I’ll keep the documentation of events to a minimum, since Jim has already done such a good job over at Architecture in Berlin. [...]

  7. Success?
    I live in this building. As you probably know the lessor tries a gentrification campaign for the tower and the neighbour-buildings. He plans to increase the rent up to 60 % per month.
    Since one year more than 50 % of the formerly lessees moved away. The building is nearly empty, there are no families with children anymore. That was gentrification at it’s best!
    We the lessees are worried that the so called success (i mean the restoring to the original design) would be used by the lessor to achieve his company claim. Architecture is nothing without people living in the nice buildings.
    Would you guys be ready for another campaign to help the lessees vs. the lessor?


    MondeMobile, June 5, 2010
  8. Hi
    I’m sorry if the campaign has caused you further problems – it was never our intention to support the building owner or to amplify the problem of gentrification in buildings such as this. It’s true that architecture can seem at best irrelevant when faced with issues such as this.

    I took a small tour group around some of the IBA blocks last weekend, visiting friends and contacts in some of the blocks on Kochstrasse, and stopping briefly at you block. Much of the discussion that day focussed on the the plight of those being forced out of their homes by the rapidly increasing rents, pushing out families who have lived in the neighbourhood for years. It’s perhaps the greatest problem now facing Berlin, and perhaps I should blog more about this, although I hope that it comes across as a theme.

    Did our campaign make this situation worse? Please leave a further comment (or get in touch directly: jimhudson40 (at) explaining more on this. I can’t speak for the others in the group, but I would offer to do what I could to help the lessees against BerlinHaus, who is certainly no friend of ours.


    admin, June 5, 2010
  9. Hi Jim, thank you for your response.
    Right now I can’t tell you if your campaign has caused additional problems for us. The rent now is from 5,5 to 7 EUR/qm.
    BerlinHaus wants to have 14 EUR/qm rent. In eather case, with or without the restoring. We are just worried that the restoring of the buildings would support BerlinHaus requests with striking arguments. And maybe it would be easier to find lessees who are ready to pay such a high rent to live in a restored architectural highlight.
    Thank you for your readyness to talk about the special situation personally. I will contact you asap. Have you ever seen the tower from inside?

    MondeMobile, June 6, 2010
  10. Hi would you mind sharing which blog platform you’re working with? I’m looking to start my own blog soon but I’m having a hard time making a decision between BlogEngine/Wordpress/B2evolution and Drupal. The reason I ask is because your design seems different then most blogs and I’m looking for something unique. P.S Sorry for getting off-topic but I had to ask!

    Lashay Deteso, July 16, 2011
  11. Hi
    It’s just a Wordpress download, from, where you can pick from a range of pre-designed formats. So I just pay for hosting etc (struggled with that side of things a bit at the time, I seem to remember).

    Good luck!

    admin, July 28, 2011

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