Secret Swagger Or Bausünde?

I know that beauty is in the eye of the beholder and all that but I think I’ll still go with Bausünde here.

Bausünde

Berlin’s post-war high rises were built with practicality, not beauty, in mind. The hulking buildings were designed to house as many families as possible, and though they were once desirable, today they aren’t generally considered great places to live. But photographer Malte Brandenburg casts them in a new light with his series Stacked

The photographer started the project late last year, and shot over a dozen high rises throughout Berlin. He lives in Copenhagen and scouts locations whenever he visits Berlin, seeking out buildings set against an uncluttered skyline. Brandenburg shoots from nearby buildings, parking garages, and other elevated spots so he can capture the towers as directly as possible, using a telephoto lens to help correct the perspective. “I would ring the doorbells of the tower buildings across the street and ask the people to let me in so I could shoot from the stairways,” he says.

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Günther Has Left The Building

You know, just like Elvis used to? Only in this case Günther has left the Gasometer. Or will have left it, a bit later tonight.

Gasometer

Don’t ask. This is the spaceship thingy inside Schöneberg’s Gasometer (taken out of service in 1995 – the Gasometer, not the spaceship) where Gunther Jauch has been holding his popular Sunday evening political talk show on German Channel One (Das Erste) since 2011. And he’s done a pretty good job at it, I think, Gasometer spaceship or not.

Another era has come to an end or something. He will be replaced by Anne Will whom he replaced in 2011. Don’t ask. It’s a German öffentlich-rechtlich TV (“public sector” or state TV, if you prefer) kind of thang.

So, Anne Will (her last name could be translated as “wants to,” if you wanted to): May the talk be with you.

Am Ende war es ein eher kurzes Gastspiel für Günther Jauch in der ARD: An diesem Sonntag lädt der Moderator zum letzten Mal als Polittalker ins Berliner Gasometer. Für Jauch könnte es der Einstieg in den Vorruhestand sein.

You Shining Symbol Of Socialist Superiority, You

You’re 50 years old or something. And you’re still ugly as sin.

Tower

But I love you, you big dummy.

It took four years to build the prestigious building, and the construction costs were three times higher than initially planned – a fact which only emerged after the fall of the Wall.

Historical Monstrosities Historical Monuments

We’re so ugly we’re beautiful.

Berlin

What few in 1989 wanted was the supposedly dumpy, chronically unfashionable late-1960s buildings around Alexanderplatz, relics of a defunct, unlovable regime that were perceived as having little or no architectural value.

So that’s precisely what we all just got.

The monuments are certainly far from the worst constructions of their time. Best known and most popular is the World Clock, a kitschy but delightful sculpture-cum-timepiece created in 1969 that has long been a popular meeting spot for locals.

Look Mom No Cables

Many of us who have ridden inside an elevator since its invention 160 years ago are accustomed to hearing its ominous hums and creaks, as well as stories of malfunctioning elevators that cause people to be stuck inside for hours. So, the idea of hopping into a cable-free elevator in a mid to high-rise building can sound both thrilling and nerve-wracking. That idea is soon to become a reality for global transportation manufacturer ThyssenKrupp, who is set out to test the first units of their cable-free MULTI elevator system once the testing tower in Rottweil, Germany is complete by the end of 2016.

Operating on a circular system, the elevators will be able to move vertically and horizontally in a loop at a speed of 5 m/s, powered by new linear motor technology similar to that of the Transrapid magnetic-levitation train. Passengers would have access to an elevator cabin every 15-30 seconds with a transfer stop every 50 meters.

German Of The Day: Bausünde

Bausünden are building sins. Or building blunders? Or architectural abberations? Whatever. Berlin knows how. It’s just what they do here.

Sin

Photographer Turit Fröbe has now published an illustrated book about some of the most awful abberations, which must have been pretty difficult to compile. I mean, there is just too much to chose from here.

I love them all, by the way. The more sinful the better.

“Gute Bausünden zu finden, ist viel schwerer, als man denkt.”

Let There Be Light

Or at least a little more of it in the eastern half of town, I mean.

Berlin

“Berlin at night. Amazingly, I think the light bulbs still show the East/West division from orbit.”

PS: Speaking of interesting aerial shots of Berlin…

Hakenkreuz

OK, OK. This is in San Diego. But still.

There actually is one of these in Berlin, I’m told. I just couldn’t find it right now. Anybody know where?