The author of this abstract edited in 1999 the text “A cavallo del Muro”, in the context of a collective book of the Dipartimento di Caratteri degli Edifici of Sapienza University of Rome, published on the occasion of the tenth anniversary of the fall of the Wall in Berlin. At that time Berlin was still a huge work-in-progress site, where water from the Spree slopes, just below the level of the countryside, was constantly pumped away to accelerate the construction sites that was completing, straddling the Wall line that had divided the city for thirty years, the reduction of the building wounds still present from the war and at the same time, although it was not fully confessable, the cancellation of the signs that socialist Germany had built in its not short existence. The new buildings in the government district were already in use after being round-the-clock designed and built by Rhenish architects who grew up in the shadow of the Federal Republic, and soon the Palast der Republic, the parliament of the GDR, would have been demolished to make room to the reconstruction, completely similar to the original but for an entire side originally resolved according to an austere project of Italian signature, of the Castle on the Spree Insel that disappeared in the war and in the chaotic events that immediately followed the war. The Reichstag and its new crystal dome had been redesigned by an Anglo-Saxon design office that had already in that time a global reach. Twenty years have passed since 1999 and another anniversary is upon us. Meanwhile, even a new Hauptbahnhof exists on the site of the ancient one: levels on differentiated rail traffic levels that pile up vertically under a large crystal roof. The result of the project of a Hamburg office which, incidentally, was already author over the seventies of the last century of Tegel international airport, the only air route to the west of West Berlin closed by and in the Wall. Today this text aims to summarize what happened “straddling the Wall” from the distant commemoration of 1999: Architectures of variable creative quality grafted onto a real urban form that just a little wanted or could say in thirty years, for a city whose layout seems still too much to depend on the permanent traces of the “Steinerne Berlin” described by Werner Hegemann in the year 1930.
The pipes are back. Berlin 30 years later / Cherubini, Roberto. - (2020), pp. 62-67. (Intervento presentato al convegno 1st IConA International Conference on Architecture “Creativity and Reality. The art of building future cities” tenutosi a Rome; Italy).