Daniel Libeskind

Berlin City Edge, 1987-1988

Designed in 1987, before the fall of the Berlin Wall, Berlin City Edge comprises two models on the scale of 1/100 and four computer-generated images. The project, designed within the framework of the renewal of the Tiergarten district in West Berlin – a derelict area which had suffered severe damage during the war - weaves a structure bearing the scars of the war into the tight grid of the place. Transforming the horizon into an oblique line running 450 meters in length, Libeskind planned a building that straddles the site and opens up the space from a pivotal point. Model A shows the site marked by wounds in the form of holes in the ground. Through texts, quotations and photographic documents of old city plans, existing and vanished buildings echo the visible and invisible history of the city. Model B, a sort of negative of the first, materializes Berlin with its 75 million cubic meters of debris, which would virtually raise the level of the city by 28 meters. This figure is logically inscribed at one end of the project and its meaning can also be found in the architectural history of the place and in film. A “montage” of references, this city-text tells a story of destruction, dislocation and reconstruction. Libeskind’s digital images of Berlin, his “psycho-cybernetic projections,” dissociate and then recompose its significations, providing us, for example, with a view of the city’s elevation taken from the east of the area in a sort of x-ray photograph in which shows Lucas Cranach’s Eve, or a view with the Angel of the Annunciation recalling Wim Wenders’ film, Wings of Desire.

Nadine Labedade

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