The Potsdamer Platz area was designed by architects as a unified neighborhood and has proven to be a great success. Amidst the futuristic skyscrapers, both Berliners and tourists find relaxation in the numerous cafes, cinemas, and shopping opportunities. The city planners have succeeded in their efforts, and the Berliners have warmly embraced the new attractions, such as the large shopping passage of Daimler-City. Spanning an area of 6.8 hectares between Potsdamer Platz and Reichpietschufer, a completely new neighborhood has been created, unparalleled in its kind.
The successful winners of the competition, Renzo Piano and Christoph Kohlbecker, designed the master plan for the neighborhood. To implement the detailed elaboration and architectural designs, five additional architects or teams were involved. This ensured both a unified design for the neighborhood and a varied architecture.
When entering Potsdamer Platz, it feels like walking through a majestic city gate. Two impressive skyscrapers, designed by Piano/Kohlbecker and Hans Kollhoff, frame the Alte Potsdamer Straße, which resumes its original course here before the war. On the right side, the building blocks of Lauber & Wöhr and José Rafael Moneo (home of the Hyatt Hotel) stretch, while on the left side, you can find the Weinhaus Huth, the only preserved old building, as well as the shopping passage. The passage is flanked by buildings from Piano/Kohlbecker and Richard Rogers (towards Linkstraße), giving the neighborhood a special atmosphere.
The central part of the district is dominated by the impressive twin buildings of the casino and the musical theater at Marlene-Dietrich-Platz, distinguished by its large roof designed by Piano/Kohlbecker. Another architectural masterpiece by the duo is the Debis Headquarters on the Landwehrkanal. The heart of the 163-meter-long building block is the glass-covered atrium, surrounded by a peripheral structure that rises in three steps, each corresponding to a floor, gradually leading to the high-rise. This 85-meter-high glass "office tower" forms the headbuilding of the ensemble and is equipped with a second facade on the south and west sides to save energy.
The vertical structuring into separate components, ending at different heights, gives the high-rise an airy and emphasized height, which is further enhanced by the glass facade and the glass-covered staircase. The green cube of the Debis signet majestically overlooks the entire complex. The atrium is publicly accessible, and the inner block structure is broken up by staircases and balcony shafts, while the wall surfaces are enlivened by louvers. In the basement, high arcades open up to anterooms, which are used for cafeterias and shops. In close proximity are the eight-story office buildings by Arata Isozaki and Steffen Lehmann, whose smooth facades are determined by the alternating use of red and lilac-brown ceramic plates, as well as trapezoidal windows.
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