Sehr Komplex

This rippled facade can be found at the bottom of a highrise on Krausenstrasse/Leipzigerstrasse in Mitte. The building is part of the Komplex Leipzigerstrasse, a series of tower blocks designed by Werner Strassenmeier and the Joachim Näther collective, which were built from 1969 onwards.  I assume there’s no immediate risk of it being removed, as the building has already been renovated once since the Wende. But you never know….

The Komplex buildings were formerly known as the ‘Springerdecker’, because were apparently built to obscure the news tickers on the top of the GSW building next door in the West, as well as the source of the news itself, the Axel Springer building. The architects subsequently denied that, however. The more flashy tower blocks on the northern side of the Komplex were used to accomodate foreign diplomats, western journalists and, of course, the Stasi.

The ground floor space behind this facade was formerly home to the marvellous Museum of Letters and is now occupied by a nursery. The rest of the building is primarily inhabited by East German pensioners and a few upwardly mobile types. I bet the former could tell the latter a tale or two.


3 thoughts on “Sehr Komplex

  1. I walk past these each day on my way to work. Aren’t these blocks supposed to be the ones built to shield East Berliners from their view of the 1968 Axel Springer tower, and it anti-communist message on the top of the building?

  2. Hübsch, nicht wahr? Ich habe gestern den Beitrag im Fernsehen geguckt und mich gefreut, von einem weiteren Fan des DDR-Design zu erfahren. Gerade die seriellen Betonformsteinwände haben ja hier in Berlin ein “Eigenleben” als Schmuckmauern erlebt, sicher kennst du das Exemplar, das den Tierpark nach Westen hin beschließt, oder die Anlagen in der Bästlein-Straße. Aber auch die Kunst an Kitas, Schulen, sowie die Skulpturen in Ostberlin sind eine Dokumentation wert, gerade auch weil stillschweigend immer mehr dieser Werke verschwinden, sei es anlässlich Renovierungen oder weil Bronzen geklaut und wegen ihres Materialwertes eingeschmolzen werden.

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