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Quartier Schützenstraße

A Berlin Renaissance

Checkpoint Charlie is one of the most famous sights of Berlin. Each day, visitors flock to the site of the former Allied checkpoint and border crossing from West to East. But there's a lot more to see in this area than just this spot which was once the focal point of the Cold War. Visitors can discover a building in the immediate vicinity that was built in 1994-1998 shortly after the fall of the Berlin Wall and is regarded as an outstanding contribution to the revival of the former border strip: Quartier Schützenstraße, designed by star Italian architect Aldo Rossi.

Inventive Reconstruction

World War II and the Wall had left a wasteland on the block bounded by Schützenstraße, Markgrafenstraße, Zimmerstraße und Charlottenstraße. The challenge was to create new architecture that would relate to the historic Friedrichstadt cityscape. Rossi decided to reflect the historic division of the site into smaller plots by designing the individual parts of the structure with several multi-coloured façades and roofs. At Schützenstraße 8, Rossi included a replica of the courtyard façade of Rome's Palazzo Farnese by Michelangelo, one of the most important buildings of the Renaissance. Some critics complained that Rossi had made it too colourful, whilst other observers rejoiced over the originality used in reconstructing this city block.