In view of the ‘grands projets’ which Berlin will be obliged to undergo in the next few years, it is not merely initiates who are experiencing a dawning awareness that, after the utopian visions of the twenties, destruction in the forties and obstructions in the sixties, the nineties have brought the wasting disease, the fourth twilight of a city in the space of a century:   in the aims of those who grant the prizes, ‘city’ has become a sheer euphemism, and not only on Potsdamer Platz. Now another great project is to simulate city here in the bend of the Spree, across from that pseudocity 800 metres to the south. It appears that, shamefully, the only way to demonstrate State ‘to the German Nation’, is to veil a monument in a cloak of urbanity. And yet the curves in the river between Friedrichstrasse and Moabiter Werder offer the full spectrum of townscapes, if only we knew how to string together the virtues of each locality, from Stadtmitte to Schloss Bellevue.

This urban imperative is to be rammed into, of all places, the most isolated crook of the meandering river, into the land around the Reichstag, weighed down by an excess of bulky functions, where city and park have fallen fallow. These are the wrong intentions in the wrong place, we feel, and setting the boundary of the planning zone at Luisenstrasse is the final straw, for it contradicts the declared intention of the competition, which is to link the federal institutions with the historical core of the town.

Our proposal, then:
–  create ‘city’ where it would spread even without planning:   from Friedrich- Wilhelm-Stadt and Moabit into the entire terrain between the railway track and the river (also replacing the Hansa offshoot in Moabiter Werder by a solid chunk of urban milieu);
–  define the Tiergarten landscape as generously as destruction of the Alsen district has rendered conceivable, the heart of the bow becoming a park exclave vis-à-vis the massive development on the north bank;
–  and let the chain of federal buildings benefits from the meander of this spacious town-landscape.


Government district  Berlin



Senatsverwaltung für Stadtentwicklung

und Umweltschutz  Berlin



Axel Schultes Architekten

Frank   Schultes   Witt



Axel Schultes   Charlotte Frank



Kromrei  Bürger 



Hiby  Kerber  Kleihues  Vogel



1992    1994



1st Prize



Axel Schultes   Charlotte Frank