CONSIDERED BY SOME to be the world’s first industrial designer, Peter Behrens (1868-1940) is also one of the giants of modern German architecture. His legacy looms especially large in Berlin, where two massive building complexes—the Turbinenfabrik in Moabit and the AEG Humboldthain campus in Wedding—tower monumentally over their respective neighborhoods.Read More
Like most of Berlin, our adopted neighborhood of Moabit has its share of signs ranging from the ridiculous to the sublime, including many that have outlived the stores whose names they bear. This far-from-complete roundup features some of the neighborhood's most colorful signage.Read More
Phantom Architecture is a series focusing on vanished buildings, both in Berlin and further afield.
Like so many Berlin locations, the corner of Turmstraße and Stromstraße in Moabit saw multiple buildings rise and fall over not centuries, but decades. The first, the Ufa-Palast, was built in 1925 by the state-sponsored Universum Films AG. Designed by the architect Fritz Wilms (who specialized in theaters), it was a massive, 1700-seat cinema, complete with a classical, columned facade, a lavish foyer with its own phone booth, and a restaurant (the somewhat alarmingly named Café Vaterland) in a separate building just east of the theater.Read More
Moabit’s Turbinenfabrik turns 106 this year, which is no small feat for any Berlin building, let alone one this immense. Designed by architect Peter Behrens for AEG, the Turbinenfabrik (“turbine factory”) is a massive, neoclassical monument to industry-as-art. Behrens was one of the original members of the Deutscher Werkbund, an organization dedicated to the promotion of German design and engineering – the quality of which were not always such a foregone conclusion.*
The building’s facade is so large that it doesn’t photograph well from the street, so I decided to show the building’s scale in a different way: by walking around it. The time-lapse video below is a condensed version of this walk:Read More