Gendarmenmarkt in Berlin

August 23rd, 2014 | General | No Comments »

Konzerthaus, flanked by the German Cathedral (left) and French Cathedral (right) © Thomas Huntke - www.huntke.de/cc-by-sa-3.0

Konzerthaus, flanked by the German Cathedral (left) and French Cathedral (right)
© Thomas Huntke – www.huntke.de/cc-by-sa-3.0

The Gendarmenmarkt is a square in Berlin, and the site of the Konzerthaus and the French and German Cathedrals. In the centre of the square stands a monumental statue of Germany’s renowned poet Friedrich Schiller. The square was created by Johann Arnold Nering at the end of the seventeenth century as the Linden-Markt and reconstructed by Georg Christian Unger in 1773. The Gendarmenmarkt is named after the cuirassier regiment Gens d’Armes, which had their stables at the square until 1773. During World War II, most of the buildings were badly damaged or destroyed. Today all the buildings have been restored to their former state.

The French Cathedral (in German: Französischer Dom) the older of the two cathedrals, was built by the Huguenot community between 1701 and 1705. The cathedral was modelled after the destroyed Huguenot church in Charenton-Saint-Maurice in France. The tower and porticoes, designed by Carl von Gontard, were added to the building in 1785. The French cathedral has a viewing platform, a restaurant and a Huguenot museum.
 

The German Cathedral (in German: Deutscher Dom) is located in the south of the Gendarmenmarkt. It has a pentagonal structure and was designed by Martin Grünberg and built in 1708 by Giovanni Simonetti. It too was modified in 1785 by Carl von Gontard, who built the domed tower. The German Cathedral was completely destroyed by fire in 1945, during World War II. After German reunification it was rebuilt, finished in 1993 and re-opened in 1996 as a museum of German history.

The Konzerthaus Berlin is the most recent building on the Gendarmenmarkt. It was built by Karl Friedrich Schinkel in 1821 as the Schauspielhaus. It was based on the ruins of the National Theatre, which was destroyed by fire in 1817. Parts of the building contain columns and some outside walls from the destroyed building. Like the other buildings on the square, it was also badly damaged during World War II. The reconstruction, finished in 1984, turned the theatre into a concert hall. Today, it is the home of the Konzerthausorchester Berlin. The Gendarmenmarkt hosts one of Berlin’s most popular Christmas markets.

Read more on berlin.de – Gendarmenmarkt, Konzerthaus, berlin.de – German Cathedral, berlin.de – French Cathedral and Wikipedia Gendarmenmarkt. Photos by Wikimedia Commons.


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Lloyd’s building in London

August 20th, 2014 | General | No Comments »

© geograph.org.uk - Oast House Archive/cc-by-sa-2.0

© geograph.org.uk – Oast House Archive/cc-by-sa-2.0

The Lloyd’s building (sometimes known as the Inside-Out Building) is the home of the insurance institution Lloyd’s of London. It is located on the former site of East India House in 1 Lime Street, in London’s main financial district, the City of London. The building is a leading example of radical Bowellism architecture in which the services for the building, such as ducts and lifts, are located on the exterior to maximise space in the interior. The Lloyd’s building is 88 metres (289 ft) to the roof, with 14 floors. On top of each service core stand the cleaning cranes, increasing the overall height to 95.10 metres (312 ft). Modular in plan, each floor can be altered by addition or removal of partitions and walls.

Twenty-five years after completion in 1986, the building received Grade I listing in 2011; it was the youngest structure ever to obtain this status. It is said by English Heritage to be “universally recognised as one of the key buildings of the modern epoch.” The 11th floor houses the Committee Room, an 18th-century dining room designed for the 2nd Earl of Shelburne by Robert Adam in 1763; it was transferred piece by piece from the previous (1958) Lloyd’s building across the road at 51 Lime Street.
 

The Lloyd’s building was designed by architect Richard Rogers and built between 1978 and 1986. Like the Pompidou Centre in Paris (designed by Renzo Piano and Rogers), the building was innovative in having its services such as staircases, lifts, electrical power conduits and water pipes on the outside, leaving an uncluttered space inside. The 12 glass lifts were the first of their kind in the United Kingdom. Like the Pompidou Centre, the building was highly influenced by the work of Archigram in the 1950s and 1960s.

The building consists of three main towers and three service towers around a central, rectangular space. Its core is the large Underwriting Room on the ground floor, which houses the Lutine Bell within the Rostrum. The Underwriting Room (often simply called “the Room”) is overlooked by galleries, forming a 60 metres (197 ft) high atrium lit naturally through a huge barrel-vaulted glass roof. The first four galleries open onto the atrium space, and are connected by escalators through the middle of the structure. The higher floors are glassed in and can only be reached via the exterior lifts.

Read more on lloyds.com – Lloyd’s building and Wikipedia Lloyd’s building. Photos by Wikimedia Commons.


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