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School of Architecture at the Polytechnic University of Puerto Rico

BERLIN: ENDURING IMPERMANENCE presents the findings of a research team composed of Professor Oscar Oliver-Didier and a group of students from the School of Architecture at the Polytechnic University of Puerto Rico. Prof. Oliver has developed an initiative to investigate the complexities inherent to the contemporary cityscape named CUIDADLAB. This nonprofit collective addresses the modes and the representations that daily impact and inform our customs, identities and desires that are so greatly imbedded into our built enviorments. Since 2005 CIUDADLAB has researched on a diverse array of city contexts, such as: Orlando in Florida, Moscow in Russia, Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo and Brasilia in Brasil and Santiago in Chile; in order to develop investigations of their contemporary dynamics. All of this to serve us as a point of critical and reflexive reference of our local Puerto Rican context. Throughout its existence, CIUDADLAB has collaborated with the School of Architecture at the Polytechnic University of Puerto Rico.

16 students of the School of Architecture at the Polytechnic University of Puerto Rico travelled to Berlin, Germany in order to evaluate a place whose crisis of permanence have been felt on all fronts: crisis with the built environment’s memory, with the way in which emptiness (physical, demographical and economical) is dealt with as a city strategy, and with a charged ideological and political realm that, although relatively common and widespread in other places, are aggravated here by the historical situations that constantly haunt this European Capital. The lessons were many –and the weight of the past is heavy– but it is our understanding that important urban paradigms of the future are being developed in Berlin. In face of the supposed impossibility of the master plan to attend to cities that have been left empty and with fragile economies, it looks as if the impermanent, the spontaneous and the urban intervention at a small scale have all become the new archetypes for urbanism inside the German Capital. In the handling of its diverse crisis, and the emptiness that has remained and has been conjured, concrete examples of this new emergent city scheme have been developed. The question is: considering such drastic measures in austerity and with the growing apparition of real estate speculation in Berlin, can these types of urban dynamics survive?


R es earch

Tri p Sch edu l e

I n t e r v i e ws / Co l l abo rato rs


Berlin’s economy: the spread of gentrification

In today’s imaginary of Germany, the largest country in the European Union, it is rarely

exposed that the Germans are caught in an economical dilemma compared to its fellow European Union member states. A labor force of almost 39 million, including four million entrepreneurs, make the country the continent’s largest economy, with a gross domestic product of around 2.57 trillion Euros in 2011. On the one hand, you have Germany’s role in the European debt crisis, by being the world’s second largest exporter and the fifth largest economy in the world, the Germans made an example out of Greece by structuring solutions for countries such as Spain and Italy. The Germans traditionally are known to be the economic powerhouse of Europe, they have emerged from the recession in good shape and most significantly it has avoided the rapid raise in unemployment experienced now in many other countries. On the other hand, and at a smaller scale, we have the city of Berlin as an artistic and cultural city, known for its cheap rent, openness on temporary take over of spaces and a bohemian flair that has attracted students and the creative class. For years now Berlin has been known for being a good market environment for investing and a lot of the cheap places to live in have been bought; affordable rents of the past have slowly begun to disappear as the city continues to undergo a rapid post reunification transformation.

Now international investors have set their sights on the German capital as typically working class districts like Neukolin and Kreuzberg are now becoming gentrified. The real estate market keeps pressing and prices keep going up, this kind of change makes it difficult for artist/working class to retake spaces or get affordable studio space. The fight against rent increases, welfare cuts and

fivefold, in addition the price of heating, water,

poverty has established a tension were Berliners

garbage disposal and privatization policies of

demand more state involvement. They recognize

the Senate have also pushed up costs. Between

the government is not an obstacle, but it’s certain


that this economic pressure has made them

dependents on welfare had to move. This could

change, were there seemed to be no support

help explain the real and increasing problem

before. First we must understand that Berlin is

of unemployment that this city suffers; it has a

an indebted city were no new industries seem

negative effect on this well known artistic and

to be settling anymore. They also have a high

cultural city. Foreign capital investment is

percentage of people on welfare: approximately

displacing the consolidated art neighborhoods

600,000 people in Berlin are dependent on

and turning them into new speculative an

government relief. Areas around the Tempelhof airport,

expensive areas. The raises on real estate prices

that recently were converted into a park, are now

reinvent new modes of surviving. These minority

in the eyes of speculators that are accustomed to paying more money for less space in the more expensive cities where they come from. In the last two years the rate of rent increase has raised





are channeling the lower and middle classes to groups and the immigrant sectors have taken conscience of the mass mobilization of the areas and are trying to resist the ongoing gentrification process.

In the end, Germany has one of the

strongest economies in the world and the largest country in the EU has some serious problems. Berlin is an interesting case, the government is uninterested in becoming involved against rent increase, social marginalization and property value hikes. They need to understand that the communities need more social democracy and more tools to obtain this. Neighborhoods will need to share the burden of gentrification; were the only alternative for urbanity seems to be integration. The possibility of negotiating will bring them together with the involvement of the administration to deal with common interests. The only solution will be a more participative democracy with neighbors and communities to deal with these matters. jan millán

radamés soto

luis villanueva

A city that is comprised of identity







neighborhood character exists, radiates an image of local character, and along with other

Berlin: mosaic metropolis

Berlin stands as a contemporary

city that has been shaped by various urban development plans. The utilization of those plans, both from a theoretical or physical standpoint, influenced and gave character to its urban landscape. Yet, it is simply not enough to view it from an isolated urbanistic planning lens in order to grasp the complexities that make it up. When it comes to understanding the historical and contemporary urban topography: social, cultural, economic and political shaping factors have a crucial role within the urban planning equation.

sectors, enables the perception of a mosaic. The





sectors have traits that lead to exclusion by filiation and at the same time are inclusive by the differences between them; however they manage to achieve a congruous reading as a whole that gives the city its distinctive image.

Several case studies arose as scenarios where





existed or are still evident, one of those is The International Building Exhibition (IBA) held in 1987. The projects in this exhibition set out to create a continuous reading of the physical architectural language that existed in pre-war Berlin, following the principles of “critical reconstruction” and “careful urban renewal.” Critical reconstruction aimed to deal with “failed” urban plans through analysis and to

This ongoing process does not stem as a

intervene with intensive strategic incisions with

recent trend as it holds some historical roots. The hypothesis presented here enabled the

pre-war city. On the other hand, careful urban

creation of a platform to better understand and more clearly define an existing condition of the city; which displays a fragmented archipelago like structure when it comes to its urban composition. Prof. Pier Vittoro Aureli explains the term: “archipelago is defined as a series of islands,

the purpose of reinstating the functionality of the renewal intends to restore existing buildings for their actualization and adapt them to the needs of the city or give them a new relevance. The end results where met with mixed reactions, some hailed it as an utter success while others saw it as a cliché and an

which by their proximity to each other build an

abhorrence. However, something else could be

idea of the center, while this center is never a total entity.”1 When utilized as a city paradigm,

Huyssen has noted, “What we have instead

it marked the starting point of this research.

taken from a project like the IBA as Andreas is a strange mix of an originally leftist Kiez romanticism and a nineteenth-century vision of the neighborhood divided into small parcels, as if such structures could become prescriptive for the rebuilding of the city as a whole.”2 And indeed

they did, for the range of projects following the

same principle created by the IBA extended out to others sector/areas. Tegel area, Prager Platz area, Southern Tiergarten quarter, Southern Friedrichstadt area, and the Nikolai quarter located in the Mitte district are clear examples.

It turned out that the exhibition

intended to continue a modernist architectural language for the city. There were a lot of

reading of the complex nature of the city. An

Postdamer Platz also takes the role of a global

example of this is the City Villa within Southern

icon similar to that of Times Squares in New

Tiergarten, a project designed by Aldo Rossi,

York City, and the process of transformation

Rob Krier, Hans Hollein, and others. Constructed

from a local intercative space to one that

in a building complex of nine structures with

wagers to a new and international experience. The various elements utilized for these

different physical appearances. The diverse historicist postmodern languages expressed

arguments are revealed after being exposed

another, yet they occur simultaneously.

The resulting condition throughout the history of Berlin until today is

to the metropolis character of Berlin and the

understood as a fast rhythm

the courtyard where the structures lay acts as

atmosphere within it. A clear understanding and

the datum holding these mosaics together. The Postdamer Platz area is another

of urban transformation

dichotomies and juxtapositions; having a turbulent

in them expresses this eclectic variance, while

acknowledgement of a place entailed in its own

key sector that was analyzed because of

past, and facing great challenges as a capital city.

its constant transformation through history

and its charged symbolic meaning. When

for it has relentlessly lifted itself from crisis after

first built it turned into one of the world’s

crisis. Recomposing itself within a fragmented

busiest city squares due to its markets and

landscape, also achieving to give a certain level


a patchwork faction even

of coherence to all of the fractured elements that compose it, especially its sectors. Without

at that moment the correct solution for the

neglecting the Berliner’s, which act as a second

into the capital of

parallel layer in the city, which is fractioned



city. Given the subsequent constructions of many of those projects, the physical building’s relation of one to the other in a neighborhood context is absent, giving way to a fragmentary


that was constructed in




A city

was the essence of urban life in that time.



of progression.

establish a distinguished image of what was



Nonetheless, Berlin is a unique city

within a reduced time span

Berlin was consequently turned into

ashes during the Second World War. Afterward it occupied a section of the Berlin Wall that separated it into two parts and today it is the center of the new reinvented and unified Berlin.

according to a named locality and imparts a strong quality of belonging to that particular sector. Neither symptom identifies with one

before it got converted

raúl martinez

frank morales

notes: 1 Penelope Dean, Rethinking Representation (Rotterdam: The Berlage Institute, 2007) 142. 2 Andreas Huyssen, “The Voids of Berlin,� Future city Autumn 1997: 68.

the fluctuating aesthetics of Berlin

In recent history, significant events

have ocurred that are key to understanding the city of Berlin. The after-effects of WWII and all the destruction that took place in Germany due to the Allied forces bombing left the country in ruins. The division of the country into East and West made difficult the ability of Germany to become once again a military power; this caused drastic differences between them. The East, being governed by the communist GDR (German Democratic Republic), made East Berlin their capital while the West led by the FDR (Federal Democratic Republic) made Bonn theirs. Due to the significant number of people that started fleeing from the GDR, because of the governing policies, Walter Ulbricht (head of the GDR) ordered the construction of the Berlin Wall to divide East and West Berlin in 1960. On November 1989, because of the poor living conditions in which East Berlin found itself, after almost 30 years of division due to the Berlin Wall, it was announced that it was to be torn down and that Berliners were free to cross from one side to the other. Shortly after, the GDR members announced their resignation and Berlin was united again.

The crisis in which Germany found

itself after reunification, on top of the devastation that had been caused in WWII, left Germany

to overcome the crisis and the disappointment of not attracting major corporations, the government started supporting these artistic movements to create an image of a creative city.

It had to deal with the unification of

two different political ideologies, the massive immigration from East to West Germany, as well as the replacement of the entire eastern currency. It urged the need for an aesthetic image that would serve as their national identity but there was no clear idea of what that identity should be. The government made Berlin once again the capital of Germany and made it center point for key reconstructions and renovations. In their effort to transform Berlin into a global competitive city, they pushed for a corporate image in hopes of turning Berlin into the city it once was. Using “starchitects”





Rogers, and Renzo Piano among others, they created office buildings all around Potsdamer Platz and other places in order to feed that

corporate image. This sort of city branding was characteristic of the Berlin of the 1990’s. By 2001, the government realized that the attempt to brand the city of Berlin and create a national identity for Germany was not successful. Only some major corporations like Sony and Daimler-Benz, which later on decided to leave the city, had moved into Berlin and given use to the facilities that the government had created. At the same time, the creative culture that had been emerging ever since the destruction of the Wall had reached international recognition. The artistic/cultural atmosphere that had developed was unique to Berlin. The huge amount of empty buildings that the East had and the low rents of the city attracted a lot of artists. World known nightclubs such as Tresor arose from the now mostly devastated communist East Berlin. “Squatting” also started to take place in the vacant lots and empty buildings around East Berlin. This started to create a ruinous aspect around the city that became one of the defining characteristics of Berlin. All of these facts gave Berlin an image of an artistic/cultural city, which shadowed the corporate/political image that the government was aspiring to create. The government noticed this other aspect of Berlin that the people had created, along with the failure of becoming a global corporate city, and rapidly took advantage of it. In order to try to overcome the crisis and the disappointment of not attracting major corporations, the government started supporting these artistic movements in order to create an image of a creative city. They implanted a welfare system known as Hartz IV that by 2009 supported over 80 percent of the nearly 240,000 unemployed citizens of Berlin.1

A total of about 600,000 people benefited from the Hartz IV welfare system in Berlin. All of this in hopes that the new image would keep the city alive and attract the major investors that the government desired. Currently, the German government is cutting down the amount of money given through welfare due to the economical crisis in which it finds itself. Berlin is a young city whose aesthetic is fluctuating and has evolved immensely through time. It faced destruction in WWII and grew apart due to different political ideologies in its division into East and West. Once reunified, it searched for a global corporate aesthetic identity due to political interests and the crisis in which it found itself. Failure at this and success at developing a creative, artistic, culturally influenced ambient has led towards world-wide recognition of Berlin as a creative capital; characteristic which the government has taken advantage of in its quest for turning Berlin into a corporate city.

as a country with unique characteristics. ana paola vázquez

ricardo orfila

notes: 1 Henning, Dietmar. “One in three youth in Berlin living on welfare.� World Socialist Website. 21 August 2009. http://www.wsws.org/ articles/2009/aug2009/berl-a21.shtml

the immigrant populations have had to depend on government handouts

integration as the immigrant solution

…Germany’s foreign residents remain vital to the economy, parts of which would shut down if they were to depart. [… In the long term,

to survive.

their presence may be seen as vital because they have a positive birth rate.] The birth rate among native Germans is so low that some

studies have estimated that Germany will require approximately 200,000 immigrants a year to maintain its population into the next

withdrew subsidies from the coal and steel industry sector, causing almost

century and support its array of social welfare benefits.

200,000 immigrants to be left unemployed and with no significant work

-eric solsten, ed. germany: a country study

washington: gpo for the library of congress, 1995

mostly from other European countries; whereas a manual laborer is one who moves to another country to earn more money. Expats are attracted to Berlin because of its liberal government views, evolving arts, culture scene, and affordable living costs; all from a principal European capital.

Berlin, the ancient Prussian capital

and the current capital of Germany, differentiates itself









between the expats over the immigrants,


they are more welcomed by Berliners.

Europe in the fact that it’s the densest city in

These groups have a high percentage of

Germany. There are 3,900 people by km2


studying its demographic components, it’s




than120,000 residents and now compose

this European capital is generating a “void”. By definition, a shrinking city is one


that experiments a descent in population by 25%

of Berlin society, keeping to his own grounds,

or more in a 40-year period. Such is the case of

workshops, vocational training and providing special tutoring within the

marginalize itself from Berlin’s society. Immigrants stick to the parameters

school system to migrant children and incorporating more immigrant

of their settled neighborhoods, they don’t feel German or part of Berlin. Angela Merkel, the Chancellor of Germany, has brought

teachers into the educational system. The foreign minister Guido

forward the discussion that German multiculturalism and integration has

than build more obstacles before they turn on (us) Germany. Both native

member of Berlin’s community and it is important to begin viewing them as such. Merkel and the Prime Minister of Turkey, Tayyip Erdogan together

Westerwelle stressed that it is important to “open the door” (for Turkey) rather germans and those with a migrant background must be given the same opportunities instead of letting their abilities go to waste, as they remain vital to the economy, parts of which would shut down if they were to depart.





The foreigner has lived on the outskirts

Neukolln and Kreuzberg regions are clearly

been forced to look to immigration as a possible

what has also attracted expats to call these

solution. “Immigration is the only solution,

colorful neighborhoods their home. However,

demographically speaking” (Hake, Sabine).

it is exactly this new wave of interests that has

In fact, close to 30% of the Berlin population consists of foreigners, non-Berlin born citizens.






districts of Berlin, where affordable housing was

limited dominance of the German language itself caused this community to

“utterly failed”. The guest worker is no longer a guest, but a permanent

The german government now provides its immigrants with the

low rent and do-it yourself attitude within the

condition of population downgrade, Berlin has

a significant transformation of the inner city

necessary tools to find employment such as integration courses, language

cuisine, music, and cultural activities. The

experiencing a significant rise since. Due to this

The presence of these immigrants also led to

effort to begin small businesses and storefronts, their limited preparation and

the day to day lifestyle of the city, covering

shift from the years 1940 to 1980, and not

workers would put in longer hours for less pay.

creating 350,000 jobs), academics and artists from that country.

Kreuzberg and Neukolln. Although many immigrant residents have made an

but yet it has had a strong lasting impact in

the German capital, having experimented -%26

the city, and many were there to stay. These

has slowly become the employer (with 72,000 Turkish employers


professional out-migration of native Berliners,

considerable wave of “guest workers” entered

sector that fuels the German economy, but beyond that, Berlin

piece of Berlin life, with approximately more

birth rates, population aging and young


are necessary for the country. They provide labour for the industrial

themselves more and more as another

discernible that due to steadily dropping


is 7.8%, with a 40% jobless workforce in the immigrant neighborhoods of

that Germany lacks 400,000 skilled workers and that immigrants

out-comer immigrants are the Turkish,

three million citizens. However, when closely


skills to be utilized elsewhere. The overall unemployment rate within Berlin

The German Chamber of Industry and Commerce (DIHK) has asserted

East European people. The most notable

(10,000 square miles) adding up to more than


Following the fall of the Berlin Wall, the German government

have pledged to do more to integrate Turks into the German country.




infrastructural Neukolln


imprint. and



made districts proved

home to this closely knit immigrant population. Over the last twenty years there has been a notable rise in the arrival of expatriates, also known as expats –people who are temporarily or permanently residing in a country other than their own–, in this case they’re

altered the lifestyle of its original residents. Because of the popularity and demand of Kreuzberg and Neukolln, gentrification has slowly begun to push immigrant residents out, as they lose their storefronts and struggle to support their families. Prices are rising and it’s becoming increasingly more





lots and gain profits. More and more

alexandra rodríguez

nora marrero

notes: “Die kleine.” Berlin–Statistik. Berlin: 2010. <http://www.statistik-berlinbrandenburg.de/produkte/kleinestatistik/ AP_KleineStatistik_EN_2011_BE.pdf>. Nipper, Josef, Kristina Schulz and Eva Wiratanaya. “Germany’s demographic changes and its implications for shrinking cities: disaster or development opportunities.” Germany: University of Cologne Süssmuth, Rita. Germany. Migration Policy Institute. The future of migration and integration policy in Germany. Berlin: 2009. Web. <www.migrationeducation.de>. Berlin-Institute: Europe’s Demographic Future Growing Imbalances, 2006 Berlin-Institute: Germany’s Integration Policy, 2011 Eric Solsten, ed. Germany: A Country Study. Washington: GPO for the Library of Congress, 1995

the various forms of memory in Berlin

Berlin has been constructing itself as

the capital of the unified Germany since the early 1990s. It is evident that Germany’s turbulent past manifests itself physically throughout the city. According to Michael Wise, author of Capital Dilemma, “The deeply ingrained collective memory of past aggression that shapes German actions in diplomatic and military realms has unquestionably affected the look of the new

capital.”1 This symbolic reconstruction of Berlin is haunted by

the presence of charged memories of its past’s in the present

identity presents itself based on the

and their natural ongoing disappearance towards the future.

various approaches towards the main

The city began to transform itself while many controversial

objective behind the commemorative act.

events began to unfold, which then took leading roles in

The idealized recreations of memories,

the spatial development of this urban territory. These series

or contemporary memorials exemplify

of historical occurrences began to surface as constructed

a discontinuity in the construction of

monuments, which intended to maintain certain aspects of

a collective memory for the city and its

Germany’s past alive.

citizens. Inevitably this causes a variety

of proposals that operate differently in

The materialization of these events in the city’s

landscape immediately caused a complex discussion on what parts of history should be kept in order to be remembered and which ones were better to ignore or even forget. “The vexing

The regeneration of the city’s

the space and generate different types of activities that end up shaping the meaning of the place or the memory itself.

issue of commemoration versus forgetting has been played

Some examples consist of the fetishistic

out in both the city’s new architectural projects and decisions about whether and how to preserve its older buildings”2, Wise

others like the commemoration sites


memorials: obsessed with history against destined for the crowds of tourists,

The construction of memory in Berlin is handled by acknowledging the possibilities of recreating or maintaining only crucial parts of its charged, sometimes controversial, history.

common to Berlin. With this observation, the different memorials can be considered as types. This categorization begins when recognizing specific details that act upon the intervened spaces; that end up shaping their behavior or its public activity. For the purpose of this investigation, the categories have been detected as fetishistic spaces, local transformations, monumental objects and historically charged theme parks.

Fetishistic spaces are considered to be the result of an evident

obsession, for some Berliners, with the conservation of memories. Some of the particularities that shape these spaces are the persistence of preserving the exact location, they become site specific, when commemorative interventions are located exactly where the event occurred, for example the Jewish plates. Other characteristics considered for the understanding of the categories

fetishistic spaces so desperately try to keep. Consequently, this generates a strange condition for the memory itself, causing almost the construction of a completely anachronistic event that does not support its initial intention. Eventually, this contextualization also begins to generate the dissolution or erasing of the single, overvalued reconstruction of memories This array of circumstances lead to a historical construction of Berlin consequently determined by the criteria used when trying to identify a piece of history valuable enough to be preserved and eventually monumentalized. Therefore there is an idealized need for the creation of new symbols to transform the dated signifiers known to Berlin and its past. There is also a keen interest to preserve memory and history exactly how it was remembered in the first place. These old memories share a complex

where the users: who participates in the space?, image: is it at a local or global

yet interesting relationship with the more contemporary events that end up

scale? and finally, if they were privately owned or completely public spaces. There is a noticeable effort to merge various memories tied to a

of memory in Berlin then brings to mind the relationships that exist when

specific site into a centralized memorial. This conglomeration of memories into a whole, monumental object is another approach to the memory of a place. These types of spaces completely eliminate the site specificity the

creating a new image of Germany’s capital at a global scale. The recreation choosing how memory is valued to maintain its pertinence in the present. Many efforts consist on new ways to reshape the past and attempts to build a new future.

victoria eckardt

tyrene calvesbert

mariana rivera

notes: 1-2 Wise, Michael Z. Capital Dilemma: Germanyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Search for a New Architecture of Democracy. New York: Princeton Architectural Press, 1998. Print.

the exhibited and occupied body

The exhibited body of Berlin is constructed perceptions of what was lost and caused by the Holocaust, by the State owned museums or cultural by taking the spectator through spaces that tap into their foundations, i.e. Prussian Cultural Heritage emotions. The museums and memorials in Berlin take a Berlin formal phenomological language to engvage the visitor Foundation. The Prussian Cultural Heritage nto actually having to walk through the space to have this Foundation




Foundation was founded in 1957. It owns the Berlin State run museums and is one of the world’s major cultural organizations; it




governmental responsibility for culture in Germany.”2 The German Federal States and the German Federal Government support the Prussian

Richard Sennett, states that the Cultural Heritage Foundation. The northern way we understand the body and the space half of what we today know as Germany is one of correlation1. A space and its relation was in fact a Prussian territory effectively

to the body leads us to understand how it is abolished in 1932. This influence is reflected perceived. The body helps define and form the in the values still seen today in the Berliner: nature in which space is created and used. We militarism, professionalism, orderliness, and understand that two types of bodies exist in parsimoniousness. Berlin was once the capital

Berlin: exhibited and occupant, both sharing at of the ancient kingdom of Prussia and this gives rise to the strong preservation of its cultural the same time: space and the city. When we refer to the exhibited body legacy, especially during the Nazi Regime, it is the interpretation of history and memory where there was a conceptual reconstruction through the experience of spaces. The by the State of the German character.

exhibited body is found in permanent spaces The exhibited body in a way makes where there has been a revaluation by the State up for the history Germans lost during the Third

of what Berlin as the capital needs to be. The Reich and the lack of a strong colonial past. body plays an important role in museums and This void was filled instead through foreign memorials because the space is designed to archaeological findings now exhibited in the be experimented by the spectator and cannot Pergamon Museum and Altes Museum. The

reveal itself completely without it. Second World War left a physical mark over The occupied body comes from Berlin and the later divided city created a those who take the alternative of the “do it unified looking capital. Both museums have a

yourself” to innovate and transform a space into strong influence of what a capital should look a community based sometimes temporary and like: “…a spatial representation of an attempt to socially oriented one in the city. These spaces equate German national identity with Prussia.”3 vary from lots without development plans on These museums exhibit treasures analogous short terms, unused property, abandoned to their origin and “…provided a unified history

spaces, parks, and rented lots. These bodies of others for a new unified nation.” The history play a very present and active role and are very portrayed in the museums or memorials particular to Berlin if compared to any other of Berlin is not limited to photographs and German city: a mix of self-efficiency, work ethic narrative facts. The Holocaust Memorial and and on the other hand, those that hold a liberal act.

Jüdisches Museum help shape people’s

experience. Aside from the visual references made, there is a strong need to project these stories through the experimentation of the space itself, taking into account the physical surroundings and the human senses.

Berlin was deeply affected by the

cult of the flag faced during the Nazi Regime, and later with the divided city, where it didn’t have a nationalistic patriotism; even though these events overshadowed some of Germany’s

lots where more radical alternatives are used to transform it. Most began with the idea of temporary activities with strong formal ephemeral characteristics. Some activities have helped prolong the life of the spaces by turning them into institutions like Kunthaus Tachelles, KW, Mauer Park, among many others. Now in Berlin there is an ambiguous line that lies in how the use of space is dealt with between the State space [exhibited body] and the publicly transformed

accomplishments the Deutshes Technik Museum

space [occupied body].

in turn celebrates them. It exhibits in retrospect

the cultural history of technological, militarism and science innovations such as aircraft, machinery and tools used during the Third Reich. The exhibited body is presented with no clear concern for the memories of the cruel past of the Nazi Regime. Its technological innovations, stamped with the Nazi symbol, is celebrated and exhibited.

A first change toward patriotism

across Germany came with the fall of the Wall and the reunifaction demonstraters as East Germany demanded unity and freedom for Berlin. Their protest led to success. It is not until the Soccer World Cup of 2010 which we see a rescued sign of` patriotism by the Germans expressing their nationality in public. This expression made in public space began with the fall of the Wall and clearly marks a beginning particular of the occupied body. Berlin









The urban phenomenon taken upon

in the city is known as open source urbanism. This began during the 1990s with a “do it yourself” attitude taken upon by the Berliners with small income and limited availability of jobs. This type of urbanism is also possible because Germany was busy building its new capital and a new government for Berlin. Since Berlin was then one of the most affordable European cities, with these new urban happenings and a freedom to make a community based project, more public




curtain artists,

immigrants looking for open and tolerant city spaces, while having small capital to do so. These spaces varied from abandoned buildings, old train station fields, basements, and empty

access to the river. The Tempelhofer Feld was an airport opened in 1928 and ceased operations in 2008. It was of key use to bring fuel and food for West Berlin. In May 2010 it reopened and is used as an open recreational space, park and had small restaurants, yet it still maintains the physical aspects of the original airport field. As well, Mauer Park, the name translating to “wall park”, was a remnant space after the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989. There everyday, but especially on Sundays, you can find people experiencing the outdoors, dancing, playing music and even karaoke is held. This openness lead to a tolerance never before seen in Berlin for example, Golitzer Park used to be an old train station and today is used as a recreational space for picnics on Sundays, DJ concerts and is even known as one of the largest drug selling spots.

city then underwent a transformation. In some instances whole buildings with artist spaces, living areas, community gardens or flea markets open to anyone appeared. The vacant lots and buildings like the KW building, Kunthaus Tachelles, Arena Badeschiff are spaces that were empty after reunification, retaken and that today serve as solid institutions or establishments. The KW for instance turns into an institute for contemporary house) which has community gardens and a small


one of the many attempts to maintain public



on the border of the Spree River. Badeschiff is

people willing to work. The East side of the

art situated close to the Kunthaus Tacheles (art


Arena pool also, for recreational use, is located

spaces received a large number of creative

of the East side revealed after fall

whole street of Oranienstrabe. The Badeschiff

art store. The Kunthaus Tacheles is one of the most emblematic reoccupied spaces because it achieved to also transform and activate the whole street of Oranienstrabe. The Badeschiff Arena pool also, for recreational use, is located on the border of the Spree River. Badeschiff is one of the many attempts to maintain public access to the river.

Berliners have found a unique way

to utilize not only what was left for public space, but actually transforming spaces into alternative uses. In Berlin the city owns public space and has an understanding that it is for everybody and, able to be used for any type of expression, the city also provides security for it and even regulations in some cases. The mutual existence of the exhibited body and the occupied body in the city is through the acceptance and tolerance of each other. It’s a recent phenomenon the way both orderly manners and liberal ways can exist in harmony. The cultural historian Sabine Hake expresses that “…you don’t expect this of a German city.” There lies a particularity of the Berliner not found in any other city of Germany. In Berlin we see two very different ways of imagining the space occurring simultaneously.

armando pérez

lorena matos

amanda torres

TRIP SCHEDULE notes: 1 Sennett, Richard. Flesh and Stone: The Body and the City in Western Civilization. illustrated. Penguin Books, 2002. Print. 2 Hake, Sabine. Personal Interview. 06 2010. 3 Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation


1 2







Entrevista: Rachel Smith y participar del Guggenheim Lab

Caminata por Kreuzberg






Spreebogen park


U6: Hallesches Tor [hacia U Alt Tegel]

U2: Senefelderplatz [hacia Alexanderplatz]

U2: Stadmitte Tor [hacia S+U Pankow]

S75: Haupbahnhof [cambio]

U2: Senefelderplatz

U55: Reichstag-Bundestag



Leipziger Platz

1.Neue Nationalgalerie 2.Gemäldegalerie 3.Kunstgewerbemuseum 4.Musical Instrument Museum 5.Berliner Philharmonie 6.Berlin State Library


Hostal U1: Kurfürstenstraße [2da parada] U1: Möckernbrücke

Sector de Embajadas Alte Potsdamer Straße

U2: Gleisdreleck [2da parada] U2: Potsdamer Platz

1. Torre Kollhoff- Hans Kolloff 2. Pricewaterhouse Coopers- Renzo Piano 3. Daimler Benz- Richard Rogers 4. Volksbank Arata Isozaki- Steffen Lehmann 5. Debis-Haus- Renzo Piano 6. Cine IMAX- Renzo Piano 7. Teatro y Casino- Renzo Piano 8. Hotel Hyatt- Rafael Moneo

Archivo de la Bauhaus

1. Emabajada de Egipto 2. Emabajada de Austria 3. Emabajada de India 4. Emabajada de Italia 5. Emabajada de Japón 6. Emabajada de Arabia Saubita 7. Emabajada Nórdica 8. City Villa 9. Emabajada de México 10. Emabajada de Malasia 11. Emabajada de Monaco









Sector del sur del Tiergarten 1. Child day-care center 2. Magdeburger Platz 3. Lützowplatz 4. Tribunal Regional del Trabajo





World Fair @ Tempelhof Dittrich & Schrechriem Exhibition

Almuerzo: Opernpalais, Holyfields

Pergamon Museum



Deutshes Museum

Altes Museum

Entrevista: Rene Seyfarth



U Oranienburger Tor U6 [hacia: U Alt-Mariendorf] U Paradestr.

S+U Brandenburger Tor S25 hacia S+U Gesendbrunnen Bhf S+U Friedrichstr. Bhf U6 hacia U Alt-Tegel U Oranienburger Tor

U6: Hallesche Tor hacia U Alt Tegel Blindenleitstreifen Bahnsteig U1 S+U Friedrichstr. Bhf (Berlin)


Sony Center


Caminar Unter Den Linden

DZ Bank

Checkpoint Charlie


Distrito Hansaviertel

1. Kath Kirchengemeinde St Laurentius 2. Alvar Aalto Klopstockstrasse 3. Walter Gropius Händelallee 4. Kaiser-Friedrich-Gedächtniskirche 5. Oscar Niemeyer and Soares Filho

U Hallesches Tor U1 hacia U Uhlandstr. U Kurfürstendamm U9 hacia U Osloer Str. U Hansaplatz


Berlinische Gallerie

Almuerzo: Alt-Berline Wirtshaus

Holocaust Memorial : Peter Eisenman

Puerta de Brandenburgo

Jewish Museum






Arena Pool










Maurer Park



Werkbund Museum

U2: Klosterstraße 4ta parada U2-U6: Stadtmitte 2da parada U6: Hallesches Tor U2: Klosterstraße 4ta parada U2: Eberswalder Straße

Karl-Marx Allee

Mariannenplatz Emmaus Church

U1: Hallesche Tor 4ta parada U1: Schlesisches Tor



Görlitzer Park

Hermann Henselmann Richard Paulick Hans Hopp Karl Souradny y Kurt

Alexander Platz

U1: Kottbusser Tor 3ra parada U1: Jannowitzbrücke

Nikolai Viertel

1. St. Nicholas Church 2. Ephraim-Palais

Galerías Lafayette Entrevista: Sabine Hake

Entrevista: Markus Miessen Entrevista: Plastique Fantastique








Sanssouci Park


1. Sanssouci Palace 2. Picture Gallery 3. New Chambers 4. Historic Windmill 5. Chinese House 6. New Palace at Sanssouci 7. Charlottenhof Palace 8. Roman Baths 9. Orangery Palace 10. Church of Peace

Bus 691 Potsdamn Hbf Bus 695


Iglesia San

Nikolai S7: Berlin Zoologischer Garten 9na parada S7: Potsdam Hbf U1: Möckernbrücke 5ta parada U1: Kurfürstendamm

1. EinsteinTower

Bus 93 Potsdamn Hbf Bus 691


1. Hans Otto Theater GmbH 2. Volkswagen Design Center Potsdam GmbH 3. ORACLE Deutschland GmbH









AEG- Turbinenfabrik

Bus 695 S7: Potsdam Hbf 6ta parada S7-S40 or S41: Westkreuz 4ta parada S40 or S41: Beusselstraße

Unité d’habitation

S40 or S41: Beusselstraße 4ta parada S40 or S41-S9: Westkreuz 3ra parada S9: Olympiastadion




Tyrene Calvesbert


Victoria Eckhardt


Nora Marrero




Leandro Fabrizi DOCUMENTARIST Benjamin Foerster RAUMLABOR




Raúl Martinez Lorena Matos Jan Millán Frank Morales Prof. Oscar Oliver-Didier


Ricardo Orfila


Armando Pérez


Mariana D Rivera Alexandra Rodríguez Radamés Soto Amanda Torres Ana Paola Vázquez Luis Villanueva


Profile for Oscar Oliver-Didier

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