Children of the Revolution

After an inexcusably long break, I’m back! This is a mural which is located above the entrance to Paliluga nursery school on Palisadenstrasse in Friedrichshain. Although Paliluga’s website doesn’t contain any info about the building’s history, the architecture is unmistakably East German, so I think it’s safe to assume the rather retro-looking mural is too. I couldn’t get very close to it because the gates were locked, so once again, apologies for slightly ropey pic quality.

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The writing’s on the wall

I saw this fabulous lettering on the facade of the Kreiskulturhaus Karlshorst (cultural centre) at Treskowallee 112 in Lichtenberg. The building (built ca.1900) was torn down earlier this year. Although the lettering wasn’t strictly architectural decoration, it was so striking, I felt compelled to include it here.

GDR lettering is a rarity in Berlin, probably moreso than architectural deco. You can still see dark outlines where the lettering has been removed on the facades of various towerblocks around town (e.g. the old GDR news agency building on Mollstrasse).

The ‘KL’ letttering pictured above was donated to the Lichtenberg Museum, and the ‘Kreiskulturhaus’ underneath it went to the Museum of Letters (which coincidentally got a mention in the last post). If you’re a fan of GDR cultural history, then I’d highly recommend visiting both.

The older signage on the front of the building (pictured below) couldn’t be saved, unfortunately. It was apparently in such bad condition didn’t survive its removal from the building. Shame I wasn’t there to nab the remains!

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.

Brick by brick


It’s not a very exotic example of GDR design, but it’s interesting looking, and that’s reason enough for this wall to be included here. I like the fact that instead of simply piling the bricks ontop of each other, whoever designed it decided to arrange thems with gaps, making it less monolithic and more decorative. It’s just a wall behind a railway station, and they didn’t have to do it. But they did. You’ll find it on the time-capsule-esque Lichtenberg street mentioned in the post below.


Flower Power


I found these flower-shaped bricks on the entrance to a building in the  GDR-tastic Buchbergerstrasse (formerly Eckertstrasse/Oberweg) Lichtenberg. I can’t find any information about who designed them, but have seen the same design on other buildings.

The building dates from the 1980s and now home to the ‘Berlin Rockhaus’, which rents out rehearsal rooms to musicians. The interior was partially renovated in 2000, but a look at the Rockhaus website suggests that it still has a strong whiff of GDR about it. It’s probably worth checking out, as is the street, an industrial estate which backs onto Bahnhof Lichtenberg. It looks like it’s remained largely untouched (unsullied!) by developers since the Wende. My kind of place, then!



The statistics show….

…that if it’s East German public art, it’s probably not long for this world. This is a metal sculpture on the side of the condemned Haus der Statistik on Otto Braun Strasse.

It’s already been removed (see below). Which means you’ll have to make do with the pics above. Not really the same though, is it?

Schilling Times

This mosaic is located on the side of the entrance to Schillingstrasse 30.  The building is home to the ex-communist Solidarity Housing Association, which owns a lot of towerblocks in the area.

I’ve seen an identical mosaic on a building on the Strasse der Pariser Commune, so it must have been serially produced, a bit like the tower blocks themselves.