Schloss Charlottenburg

A slightly extended business trip allowed for a stroll through the parliamentary and governmental quarter of Berlin yesterday. After a cool night the sun was blazing, and since I didn’t feel its power, my face is still burning now. Unfortunately, my camera is broken and I only had my little “visual notebook” with me, so the quality of the pictures is just about adapted to a “scrap book”.

Charlottenburg Schlosspark

I spent the night in Charlottenburg, and started the day with a stroll around the park of the castle. Here is just one image of the front of the castle with a statue of the “Great Fritz” and a banner behind him announcing an exhibition of paintings, all following a nice curve starting at the top of the tree. The second one is taken from the park at the back.

A few subway and S-Bahn stops further you are in a different world: The new Main Station, an impressive steel and glass construction, offering views across many levels.

Berlin Hauptbahnhof

The building is at the centre of a strong controversy between Deutsche Bahn and architect Meinhard von Gerkan.
Concerning the length of the glass roof, I tend to agree with the architect: The parts were already produced, and the construction cost would have been largely justified by saving people from getting in and out of trains in the rain and snow – during a hundred years or so.

Crossing the river on a pedestrian bridge I could see people already taking possession of the “city beach” along the spree. I took a closer look and a number of pictures of the Bundeskanzleramt, The MP’s Paul Löebe Haus, and Marie-Elisabeth-Lüders-Haus housing the „Wissenschaftliche Dienstleistungszentrum des Deutschen Bundestages“. The latter form a unit across the river Spree, linked by a pedestrian bridge. The link between all of these buildings and between government and parliamentary buildings is symbolised in the images by the reflections of buildings in one another. The photographic style of these reflections is of course quite similar to those of La Défense, but the architectural style is markedly different, as is the symbolism in these photographs. Also, you would be hard pressed to see dozens of bicycles in front of a French parliamentary, governmental or business building…

Berlin Bundeskanzleramt

Berlin Bundeskanzleramt

Bundeskanzleramt reflected in Paul-Löbe-Haus

(Click on the images to enlarge)

Berlin Regierungsviertel


Berlin Regierungsviertel

Turning round, the same building appears reflected in Paul-Löbe-Haus

Berlin Regierungviertel

Here you can see the pedestrian bridges linking Paul-Löbe-Haus and Marie-Elisabeth-Lüders-Haus

Regierungsviertel - Spree

Berliner Fussgänger

"Fußgänger" - The windows of the deputies' cafeteria produce this image of the Marie-Elisabeth-Lüders-Haus

Berlin Reichstag

The “classic” images of the glass dome of the Reichstag are on my Website (taken last year ). Here is just a rather precariously tilted one from across the road. (I have forgotten the name of the building acting as a mirror.)

Of course, I had to see Pei’s extension of the Historische Museum again. A wonderful idea to “invert design priorities”: Rather than “adding” staircases as an afterthought where they become design-nightmares, you make them the centrepiece of your design. After all, access and accessibility are at the centre of a “public” building – or should be.

Historisches Museum Pei Anbau

(Click on the image to enlarge)

There are more images of this building on my Website. (Also at

Once you have seen these images, let me take you back to Charlottenburg. It is hard to believe that this image of a “Berliner Kiez” is just a few subway stops away from the centre of the “Berliner Republik”.

Charlotteburg Kiez

Charlottenburger Kiez
(Click on the image to enlarge)