German Chancellery in Berlin

Monday, 28 January 2019 - 11:00 am (CET/MEZ) Berlin | Author/Destination:
Category/Kategorie: General, Architecture, Berlin
Reading Time:  6 minutes

Main entrance © Tischbeinahe/cc-by-3.0

Main entrance © Tischbeinahe/cc-by-3.0

The Federal Chancellery (German: Bundeskanzleramt) in Berlin is the official seat and residence of the Chancellor of Germany as well as their executive office, the German Chancellery. As part of the move of the German Federal Government from Bonn to Berlin, the office moved into the new building planned by the architects Axel Schultes and Charlotte Frank. The building is part of the “Federal Belt” (Band des Bundes) called assembly in the Spreebogen, Willy-Brandt-Straße 1, 10557 Berlin.

The spectacular as well as controversial monumental building ensemble of the new Federal Chancellery was designed by the Berlin architects Axel Schultes and Charlotte Frank by a joint venture of Royal BAM Group‘s subsidiary Wayss & Freytag and the Spanish Acciona, during the term of Chancellor Helmut Kohl. After the groundbreaking ceremony on February 4, 1997 and almost four years of construction, the building was populated on 2 May 2001 by then Chancellor Gerhard Schröder, whereby the government move to Berlin was completed. The cultivated land is with helipad and chancellery park around 73,000 m². With a height of 36 meters, the building surpasses Berlin eaves height of 22 meters and is the largest government headquarter in the world. It is about eight times the size of the White House in Washington, to which, however, other buildings belong.

The building features a modern, largely glazed exterior and was constructed in an essentially postmodern style, though some elements of modernist style are evident. The design went through three versions between 1995 and 1997. Extensively used colors have their own, precisely defined symbolic effects. On the honorary court, which is formed by the line construction and the two office wings, there are the Berlin sculpture of the Basque artist Eduardo Chillida and four columns each with tree planting, flagpoles and in front of the main entrance a spanning tent roof. The court of honor is mainly used to receive guests.

seen from nearby Reichtstag building © Holger Weinandt/cc-by-sa-3.0-de Staircase © Gryffindor Main entrance © Tischbeinahe/cc-by-3.0 International Conference Room © Gryffindor seen from nearby Reichtstag building © A. Köppl, Gleiritsch/cc-by-sa-4.0 © Martin Falbisoner/cc-by-sa-4.0
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seen from nearby Reichtstag building © A. Köppl, Gleiritsch/cc-by-sa-4.0
In the wings there are 300 offices of 20 m² each and 13 winter gardens. In the southern office wing there is a canteen. In the northern office wing is the press and staff entrance next to the separate main police station. Beyond the Spree in the Chancellery Park to the west there is a helipad. The park is accessible via the Kanzleramtssteg, a double-storey bridge, for pedestrians and vehicles. In addition to the possibility of electronic communication, there is also a pneumatic tube system for filing documents. Visitor groups are admitted, albeit under extremely high security standards (entrance control as at the airport, passport control, previously prepared lists of names, attendance of each group of visitors by BKA officials).

The Chancellery complex is not only home to important works of classical modernism, but also works by contemporary German and international artists. The main work in the chancellery is the monumental iron sculpture Berlin by the Basque sculptor Eduardo Chillida. The 5.5-meter-high and 87.5-ton sculpture, with its two almost touching arms, evokes associations such as rapprochement, division and unification, which can be understood as intended political symbolism. The sculpture occupies a similar position as Henry Moore’s Large Two Forms of the Bonn Chancellery and is of similar symbolism. The inner entrance area was artistically shaped by the painter Markus Lüpertz, who transformed the central staircase into six different “color spaces” whose colors are to symbolize certain classical virtues: blue (wisdom), umbra (as lion’s color for power and strength), red (valor ), Ocher-gold (justice) and green / white (wisdom). In addition, Lüpertz created the sculpture The Philosopher as the epitome of thoughtful people, which is also located in the entrance area. Another large sculpture in the interior can be called the Great White Heading of the artist Rainer Kriester. On the first floor is the gallery of the former Federal Chancellor. Helmut Schmidt had the idea of a portrait series in 1976. The former Chancellors then chose a portrait, which was then purchased by the Chancellery: Konrad Adenauer was painted by Hans Jürgen Kallmann in 1963. Another portrait of Adenauer by Oskar Kokoschka is in the office of Angela Merkel. Ludwig Erhard and Kurt Georg Kiesinger portrayed by Günter Rittner in the years 1974 and 1976. Willy Brandt was originally portrayed by Georg Meistermann. Meistermann’s picture represents a ‘critical form’ of the representative portrait, but reveals virtually no visible relation to the person and meaning of Brandt. The later Chancellor Helmut Schmidt, therefore, had the image removed from the Chancellery gallery, and Helmut Kohl replaced it with a realistic painted portrait Brandts of the Düsseldorf painter Oswald Petersen. Helmut Schmidt decided to let former East German artist Bernhard Heisig, who represented him in 1986. Helmut Kohl had himself painted by a student of Bernhard Heisig, Albrecht Gehse. Gerhard Schröder opted for a painting by Jörg Immendorff.

Read more on Berlin.de – Federal Chancellery, VisitBerlin.de – German Chancellery and Wikipedia Federal Chancellery (Smart Traveler App by U.S. Department of State - Weather report by weather.com - Global Passport Power Rank - Travel Risk Map - Democracy Index - GDP according to IMF, UN, and World Bank - Global Competitiveness Report - Corruption Perceptions Index - Press Freedom Index - World Justice Project - Rule of Law Index - UN Human Development Index - Global Peace Index - Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Index). Photos by Wikimedia Commons. If you have a suggestion, critique, review or comment to this blog entry, we are looking forward to receive your e-mail at comment@wingsch.net. Please name the headline of the blog post to which your e-mail refers to in the subject line.




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