Lived in Berlin 2007 – 2013 writing about all things architectural and urban. Opened and ran a British cafe 2010 – 2013.

This site due to go dead shortly, but most of the content from here is on architectureinberlin.wordpress.com, and am blogging new things at betavilleblurb.wordpress.com.

Thanks for reading!

Jim

28 comments

  1. I think your website is the coolest thing ever!

    trish, February 2, 2009
  2. i reckon the vw campervan would work well in a berlin apartment. Perhaps an airsteam as well. Just sitting at dubai aprport about to fly to berlin (via istanbul) and stumbled on your excelent blog. Love the photos. what do camera do you use?

    demitri, February 7, 2009
  3. Thanks for the comment! Glad you like the blog.

    The camera is… my girlfriend’s. It’s a Canon Eos 400D. I’m a (very) amateur photogrpaher, but do a bit of ‘fixing’ with the photos just using Picasa.

    Jim

    jimnkatie, February 8, 2009
  4. Nice blog. I appreciate your focus on modern berlin. So many people get caught up in the complex history that they overlook some of the recent events and design going on.

    I am also an architect in Berlin spending my time blogging and looking for work. I missed your last meet up but will try to make the next one. In the meantime check out http://www.talkitect.com. I would love if you would add a link to it from your site.

    Keep up the good work.

    Lucas Gray, July 30, 2009
  5. jim, I translated a catalogue for the exhibition city of architecture, architecture of the city in the neues museum before the reno. tells you a lot about the “modern period” from 1900-2000, there is a book of the same name, nicolai verlag, in english or german, the catalogue only got published in german afaik. berlin is a city of invisible -architectural- layers. so many modern buildings have been replaced by more modern buildings. The Ghosts of Berlin: Confronting German History in the Urban Landscape by Brian Ladd was recommended to me recently by an irish jouro living here. have not got around to reading it yet. regards. nice site, tho I have to say I’m not a blog lover (or should that be “blover”?).

    fergus burke, July 30, 2009
  6. Hi Jim,
    I am a mature ager student of architectural theory/history and have an assignment in which I have to select a topic in contemporary architectural theory and then show how it addresses the overall theme of ‘practice-theory”. I have chosen to research postmodernism and in particular I am interested in urban design theory. I thought an good example of this is the IBA in Berlin, but have been told to be very specific. I need to choose a couple of significant buildings/developments which really highlight the characteristics of postmodern architecture and incorporate the new urban design adopted by the IBA planners. Can you help? I was thinking of buildings in the Kreuzberg quarter – particularly one of the refirbished Mietskaserne.

    theresa, September 7, 2009
  7. Hi Theresa – certainly can help! Will mail you directly with some thoughts if that’s OK.

    architectureinberlin, September 8, 2009
  8. Hi Jim, love your site, offers lots of inspiration. I am currently working on a masterplan in central London and I am looking for references of dense residential developments of up to 8 storeys high, which is a typical Berlin size building block. I have found some useful info on Kollhoff’s Piraeus building in Amsterdam on housingprototypes.org, a building which apparently was inspired on the Berlin building block, but haven’t been able to find plans of buildings in Berlin. I was wondering if you have any plans available of, say, Rossi’s Quartier Schützenstrasse, Siza’s Bonjour Tristesse, and Hadid’s Dessauer Strasse? Cheers!

    Maurits, November 27, 2009
  9. Hi Jim

    We met at Thanksgiving in Berlin at Tammi’s. Finally got round to tracking down your blog – interested to explore further.
    Hope your guests had a good weekend and managed to get to some of the musuems they were aiming for.
    Have you managed to get into the Neues museum – with stuff in it – yet?
    Christina

    Christina Macaulay, December 13, 2009
  10. Jim,
    you’re blog is fantastic. I wish I had more time as a result. Amazing how many buildings you speak about which I’ve already photographed unwittingly. Off on my little canal trip today. Nothing like enthusiasm to breed enthusiasm.
    M29 tomorrow.

    Thanks again.
    Tania (nest)

    Tania Einberg, January 11, 2010
  11. great site, i was in Berlin this week and wandering about came upon the Eisenmann building, the Gregotti building and the Christine Hawley – i remembered them from my IBA book (academy editions 1987) so was flicking through it and wondering which projects got built. my kids thought most of the stuff pretty awful which it is but it has to be compared with what was going on elsehwhere which was even worse. so a quick search threw up your blog – great stuff – keep it up. can you start to go back and cover the Hansavertiel?

    crawford, February 19, 2010
  12. Thanks Crawford, glad you liked the site. Some IBA buildings definitely better than others I think! And yes, perhaps will do a bit more on the Hansa, as someone I know has just bought a place there and renovated it, so you never know…

    Jim

    admin, February 19, 2010
  13. Hi there,
    Coming to Berlin 16th to 25th April and staying in Kreuzberg. I am a frequent visitor to Berlin and would love to see beyond the usual architectural glories. I’m a regular visitor to your excellent blog and have friends who attend your events.
    Drop me a line with suggestions, or happy to meet up.
    Cheers,
    Chris Patterson

    chris Patterson, April 10, 2010
  14. hi jim!

    just came across your blog as i was doing some last minute prep before a trip to berlin/stuttgart/munich/basel/zurich with about 20 students from a collection of disciplines…

    if you had four days in berlin, which buildings/ places would be absolute musts?

    roberto ventura, May 31, 2010
  15. Hi Robert

    Good to hear from you, sorry for slow response.

    So much to see of course, but a couple of thoughts:

    - visit one/some of the modernist estates from the 1920s:
    http://www.stadtentwicklung.berlin.de/denkmal/denkmale_in_berlin/en/weltkulturerbe/siedlungen/index.shtml

    - The Hansaviertel, and Karl-Marx-Allee, by way of contrast: the west and the east’s very different approaches to urbanism in the 1950s:
    http://www.architectureinberlin.com/?p=11

    - My own personal obssession: the International Housing exhibition of the 1980s (the IBA – see right hand column). Have just done a small sample tour, would love to redo this soon but will be out of town until last week of June. The programme was huge, with a huge amount to see. If you’re in the embassy district (see below) worth visiting the development on Rauchstrasse,
    http://www.architectureinberlin.com/?page_id=145
    next to which are some experimental eco-houses by Frei Otto. Couple of key bits:
    http://www.architectureinberlin.com/?page_id=194
    http://www.architectureinberlin.com/?page_id=504
    makes a good walk along the canal:
    http://www.architectureinberlin.com/?p=657
    and my personal favourite, which many architects hate:
    http://www.architectureinberlin.com/?page_id=121

    - the Embassy district, south of Tiergarten, rebuilt in the 1990s as an architectural zoo, but in a good way!

    - if you have transport, I would recommend a trip out to see Axel Schultes crematorium (you can go inside if not a disturbance to any ongoing ceremonies)
    http://www.architectureinberlin.com/?p=66

    Am off to get married/honeymoon from Tuesday, so not much time, but hope this helps!

    Jim

    admin, June 2, 2010
  16. well you do the backlink check, as every blogger does (i guess) and you were so kind to backlink-backlink and even blogged about it. Hope you enjoy your stay whenever you are around ;-)

    Well your blog is surely more impressive with it lots of posts an pics, so its very easy for me to say DANKESCHOEN in capital letter, keep it on.

    to our own disappointment the architecture in our grossbeeerenstrassse is rather boring then exciting; maybe the blog on grossbeerenstrasse 54
    @ http://kreuzberger-horn.blogspot.com/2010/09/ein-hofisches-palais-in-kreuzberg.html
    may push it a bit over the top, maybe.

    from your new best friends from grossbeeerenstrasse.blogspot.com

  17. Stumbled into here, looking for something about the rebuilding of Berlin. You have a great website here!
    I am trying to find any information about where they may keep records of buildings in Berlin. Am trying to find out, what happened to the building my Great Grandparents lived in in Charlottenburg. There is now a new apartment building straddling the corner of Spielhagenstraße and Wilmersdorferstraße. When I visited there a few zears ago. I tried to find out whether the building had been destroyed during the war, or simply torn down. If anyone knows of some kind of records office. I would appreciate knowing.

    Ken, February 8, 2011
  18. I, too, stumbled onto this — though I sometimes think there’s no such thing as “stumbling” into anything on the web; it’s more like some kind of pre-ordained plan to find what we’re truly looking for — and was transfixed. I’m just someone with amateurish obsessions in architecture and history, and you have captured both in a way that is fascinating. I’m bookmarking and will return to explore further!

    Jeff, April 10, 2011
  19. I was most impressed by your submission and winning project of the Spreebogen competition.
    Any material published ever?

    janos szabo, September 18, 2011
  20. Hello Jim,

    My name is Sabine Beppler-Spahl and I am editor of NovoArgumente magazine.

    The reason for writing is a public debate which I am organising in cooperation with the British Council in Berlin, the Institute of Ideas in London and the Deutsche Bank, titled “The Triumph of the City?” and which will take place on November 14th at 19.00 hrs.

    I would very much like to invite you as a speaker for this event. You were recommended to me by Alastair Donald (author: The Lure of The City).

    We will have a podium which is to consist of four to five speakers. The debate will be a Satellite Event of the “Battle of Ideas” conference which takes place each year in London (Barbican 20./21.10). There are other Satellites in Paris, New York, Lisbon and Mumbai.

    You can find more detailed information about the topic of our debate in Berlin (which will be in English) here:

    http://www.battleofideas.org.uk/index.php/2012/session_detail/7016

    Information about the Battle of Ideas conference can be found here:

    http://www.battleofideas.org.uk/

    We would be delighted if you could accept our invitation. If you have questions or queries, please do not hesitate to contact me.

    Looking forward to hearing from you.

    Sincerely

    Sabine Beppler-Spahl

    beppler-spahl, September 11, 2012
  21. Brilliant website, Jim – well done. I am an architect of some 40 years now and – believe it or not – I had never been to Berlin until last month! I wish I’d seen your ‘blog’ before my visit. I knew there was a lot of good architecture there, knew about it and saw some of it, but now I know I missed a lot! But there’s always next time. You could do an app for mobiles to guide us round the sights/sites. As for a name for this site – Hudson’s Haupstadt!

    Ian Layzell, November 7, 2012
  22. Thanks Ian. I like the idea! Maybe in the spring…

    admin, November 21, 2012
  23. Hi Jim — so glad to see you’re getting back into the swing of things with the blog! I’m finally at the dissertation stage of my studies so I’m sure I’ll find myself in Berlin sooner or later for some Crit Rec research! Hope we can get in touch if that happens … in the meantime, I’ll be looking forward to more of your great writing and I’ll send along any conference/publishing opportunities I find. :)

    Nara Hohensee, January 2, 2013
  24. Hey Nara, good to hear from you, and Happy New Year! I’ve been doing quite a few events, but no real ‘building blogging’ sadly, as most of the time taken up with running the cafe. But good luck with the dissertation, and hope to see you sometime in Berlin.

    Jim

    admin, January 2, 2013
  25. hey jim, great place you got here! i am juliet, an architect working as a city planner. half english, half american but my passport says i’m swedish and that’s where i live with my man and three kids. seems we have som stuff in common. i love berlin, film and photography, architecture and good times. i’ll definetly come by the cafe on my next visit! all the best!/juliet

    juliet, April 7, 2013
  26. is the cafe closed?!

    andres, January 29, 2014
  27. Hi Andres,

    sadly, yes. We sold Hudson’s in October – it’s now reopened as another cafe I think, not British, but very nice!

    Thanks for your support,

    Jim

    admin, January 30, 2014
  28. Hey Jim,

    I really like your blog and read it from time to time. So I linked on it on my own website, http://www.entwicklungsstadt.de, which is hopefully okay. You can check it here: http://entwicklungsstadt.de/i-blog-it-my-way/
    If it’s not okay, please just let me know, then I’ll take it off my site.

    If you want to link on my site, feel free, it ‘s alright to me :)

    Thanks and best wishes!

    Björn

    Björn, March 12, 2014

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