The GDR’s Ministry for Building’s demolition site

by Matthias · 29.10.2012 · Places · 3 comments

Call me weird – but I have a soft spot for aban­doned places (as you can eas­ily tell from past posts here). It’s their his­tory in an ever-changing urban envir­on­ment that I am most inter­ested in, the beauty of decay and the oppress­ive notion of a place filled with stor­ies untold, now for­got­ten. It’s the aston­ish­ment upon hear­ing such tales of former times that drives me to these spots, but some­times it’s the won­der­ing mind that poses such ques­tions while wan­der­ing around the city.

One of these sites that came to my atten­tion dur­ing my daily com­mute for what seems now ages is the former GDR’s Min­istry of Build­ing, which is recently demol­ished and archae­olo­gic­ally examined. The site seems goul­ish: An aban­doned build­ing at the city’s very heart, only within a stone’s throw of Berlin’s medi­eval found­ing site, sits there, calmly above the roar­ing traffic of Ger­trauden­straße. Its spa­cious court­yard, once allow­ing to be eas­ily viewed from the street is now cluttered with huge piles of sand and debris. The over­bur­den is stored in neat and per­fectly elev­ated lines of piles: two in a par­al­lel set and another one, facing the street. Risk­ing to sound some­what pathetic, the debris raises like moun­tains from the ground and one can wander around them whilst feel­ing strangely far away from the loud street, isol­ated among these urban dunes devoid of people and – today – of demoli­tion workers.

Enough the rhaps­ody: The build­ing and its typ­ical archi­tec­tural style are remin­is­cent of GDR times. Grey blocks of con­crete facade and nar­row win­dows, built in cheap and effi­cient pre­fab­ric­ated con­struc­tion. The usual sight: rusty blinds hang insensately from their sock­ets, win­dows shattered and a vari­ety of grass, fern and other greens sprawl­ing over the place. How­ever, the demoli­tion site breathes a cer­tain des­ol­a­tion that dif­fers from how places like Neukölln’s aban­doned allot­ment gar­dens mor­bidly appeal. The end­less Grey and the sand’s filthy Brown give it a dis­mal tone. Yet a strangely pleas­ing one.

The GDR's Ministry for Building's demolition site
The GDR's Ministry for Building's demolition siteThe GDR's Ministry for Building's demolition site
The GDR's Ministry for Building's demolition site
The GDR's Ministry for Building's demolition site
The GDR's Ministry for Building's demolition site
The GDR's Ministry for Building's demolition site
The GDR's Ministry for Building's demolition site
The GDR's Ministry for Building's demolition site
The GDR's Ministry for Building's demolition site
The GDR's Ministry for Building's demolition site
The GDR's Ministry for Building's demolition site
The GDR's Ministry for Building's demolition siteThe GDR's Ministry for Building's demolition site
The GDR's Ministry for Building's demolition site
The GDR's Ministry for Building's demolition site
The GDR's Ministry for Building's demolition site
The GDR's Ministry for Building's demolition site

Bor­der­ing the spa­cious demoli­tion site is another big aban­doned build­ing, situ­ated at Brüder­straße. The faded signs tell it used to be a teen cloth­ing store. Any­way – enough told, see for your­self or maybe even visit the place on your own!

The GDR's Ministry for Building's demolition site
The GDR's Ministry for Building's demolition siteThe GDR's Ministry for Building's demolition site
The GDR's Ministry for Building's demolition site
The GDR's Ministry for Building's demolition site
The GDR's Ministry for Building's demolition site
The GDR's Ministry for Building's demolition site

One comment
  1. great pho­to­graphs!

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