Posts Tagged 'KaDeWe'

Neoclassicism, Historicism, Jugendstil…and maybe Art deco?

The Flat was built in 1914…not yet Bauhaus time, not yet Art Deco…still Jugenstil and not far from Neoclassicism.. There is a Jugendstil flavour in the external stuccos, but if the building’s structure is definitely massive Neoclassicism – Historicism without organic indulgence.

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Bauhaus hadn’t arrived yet: no flat roof, no big glass windows, no bare shapes, on the contrary…our roof is pretty pointy, very bavarian, I suppose? (Bayerisches Viertel oblige!).

Yet you can perceive it was built during a sort of transition phase, in which organic decoration and redundant shapes left space to purer lines. There were more Modern Times in the air. Skirts were getting shorter, too.

Maybe it is easier to compare our beloved Altbau with sibling buildings born in the same years. Thanks to the fantastic Berlin Architecture Guide we discovered many interesting stories. For instance, the Flat falls in the same generation of the KaDeWe building…(and in the same area, as well).cimg0049

It’s Prussian and massive…at the time of building quite an exploit.

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Another masterpiece of the days just before WWI is the U-bahn 4, and its magnificient stations! This one is Rathaus Schoeneberg, the prettiest in town and one of the first…at the time of construction its name was Stadtpark Schoeneberg, you can still see the old name in mosaic letters.

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Here we are in 100%  Schoeneberg treasure territory…The U-bahn connecting the Schoeneberg village to Berlin was built for ladies to go to KaDeWe shopping in an Augenblick!

This is the only station in Berlin from which you can admire ducks diving and herons fishing while waiting for the tube inside the cozy french-window tunnel. A tunnel with a view…an U-bahn with windows…that’s Industriekultur…pragmatism plus beauty.

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Hum…almost Art Deco-ish, isn’t it?

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Yes…the form is definitely following the function…this pillar is beautifully crafted, yet it is definitely a pillar, no useless iron with bolts. We’re definitely in the era of Industriekultur, when technology had still a craftmanship soul and craftsmen and ironsmiths had branding power. Do visit the Museum of Technology and you will dive into railway beauty! But let’s not part from the lane of this post…

The U-bahnlinie 4 was built around 1908, it is just 2,9 km long, and MeinMann and I call it “our own private underground”. Viktoria-Louise Platz station (and square) are also beautiful, and one wonders how nice Bayerisches Platz had to be at the time of construction…sadly now a lot must be left to imagination due to bombings during WWII…it was a beauty in 1935.

Well, let’s get to the terminus station, Nollendorfplatz, the station with a fancy hat! In front of the station there is another Neoclassical-almost Art Deco building, constructed more or less in the same pre-pre-war years, the Goya…I really have to get this book by Susanne Twardawa about Nollendorfplatz…it’s a Kiez full of history and central in the Berlin history.

I try to visualize those building sites, in between 1908 and 1914…a new neighbourhood in the making, modern U-bahn systems, and a brand new cafe’ and shopping district to serve the new citizens…

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The best part of it!

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Photo: Stripedcat (taken in a Berlin B&B last summer…)

Over the past two years we’ve been fantasizing about how to furnish our flat…we bought countless books (also more serious ones than the one pictured here!) and german interior decoration magazines, especially during our KaDeWe grocery trips…

So Christmas will be spent in Rome, cosy cosy, lazy lazy, busy busy with new plans for our new Berlin flat!

Merry Christmas!


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