“We’re going to prove that three public-sector owners can build a project like this,”

Wowereit said.

The investigation into the massive delays in opening Berlin’s new BER international airport have begun. Managers have been fired and architects have been sued — but what about the capital’s mayor, who has led the prestige project since 2001?

…Hochtief executives quickly learned that the project had changed since Wowereit had been put in charge. Now the walls were to be covered with expensive walnut veneer paneling. The roof was to be built in a futuristic, free-floating design. And the granite used for the floors at other major airports, like Hamburg and Düsseldorf, was no longer good enough. Berlin’s new terminal had to have expensive Jura limestone floors instead.

…Wowereit, a member of the center-left Social Democratic Party (SPD), also recognized early on that the one person who doesn’t hold any share of the blame is Wowereit himself.

“I don’t see what concrete accusations should be leveled against the supervisory board,” says Wowereit.

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2 responses

  1. “Now the walls were to be covered with expensive walnut veneer paneling. The roof was to be built in a futuristic, free-floating design. And the granite used for the floors at other major airports, like Hamburg and Düsseldorf, was no longer good enough. Berlin’s new terminal had to have expensive Jura limestone floors instead.”

    Faaaaaaaaaabulous! The first openly gay airport in the world…

  2. The German propensity to overdo the scope and program has been made the cultural norm by this very thinking: no costly feature is overlooked, despite it being Architecturally overdone, or a misude of someone else’s money.

    As an architect, it’s a form of “malpractice” that is growing to become normal of all European Architects, especially one that I’ve been assigned to “tame” to a client who has hired us to do just that.

    Just because you can draw it, does NOT mean that it is appropriate or feasible, even if you aren’t making every effort to bankrupt your client whom you imagine is “rich”… “rich” meaning that they can afford any quantity of anything. And yet we are told that all of this (ignoring your client’s intent, resources, and needs) is a sign of their superior taste, talent, and professional capacity.

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