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Project timeline

1969 – 1971

Type

Office

Location Change this

Alexanderstraße 7
10178 Berlin
Germany

Architect Change this

Haus des Reisens Change this

Berlin, Germany
by Johannes Briske, Roland Korn, ... Change this
1 of 5

Description Change this

Haus des Reisens is situated in Alexanderplatz, Berlin. The building was designed by Roland Korn, Johannes Briske and Roland Steiger, with interiors by Hans Bogatzky. Korn was due to leave the GDR for Baghdad, to work as chief architect of Iraq, when plans by his collective won the competition for the redevelopment of Alexanderplatz and he was ordered to stay. The Haus des Reisens was built between 1969 and 1971 as part of this redevelopment plan.

The 17 storey tower block is surrounded by a two storey base, which has one of the building's most striking features - these unusual wave-like concrete mouldings, which are almost like the edges of a scallop shell. The detailing provides an interesting contrast to the hard, skeletal lines of the tower block.

The eastern side of the building has a copper relief work by Walter Womacka. It's called "Der Mensch überwindet Zeit und Raum" (man overcomes/conquers time and space).

Womacka was a prolific artist in the GDR and his work is well represented around Alexanderplatz - the fountain in front of the Kaufhof department store (called the Brunnen der Völkerfreundschaft, which could be translated as 'fountain of friendship between nations') is also his work, as are the mosaics on the Haus des Lehrers (the building diagonally opposite the Haus des Reisens, over the other side of Karl Marx Allee).

Perhaps the building's most talked about occupant now is the club Weekend which takes up two of the upper floors, and also opens up a terrace on the building's roof in the summer months. The Haus des Reisens may not be around for much longer, though: for some time now, plans have been in place to demolish it and replace it with a 150 metre tall skyscraper by Hans Kollhoff as part of his masterplan for Alexanderplatz, chosen in a 1993 competition. While not much currently seems to be happening in relation to those plans, the Haus des Reisens is currently far from fully occupied and, as it's not a listed building, it could well only be a matter of time before economic considerations bring its journey to an end.

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