The reinvented Palace of the Republic is…
The reinvented Palace of the Republic is a fun cultural palace where equality is restored and communal indulgence is advocated.
Lesson / Koan : Fragments form the collective memory of the city.
The Palace of the Republic project is in response to the decision of the German Government to demolish the Palast der Republic, the former symbol of East Germany. The design project is a fantastical proposition which took on ideas from the Palast der Republik. It occupies the former ground of the Palast which has now been cleared following the demolition. It is a critique of contemporary society where wealth is unequally distributed and the society is driven by profit-making corporations.
Berlin Erases its Communist Past This is the story of the Palast der Republik in Berlin. The building – a rusting remnant of Socialist East Germany – was the subject of an intense debate after a decision to tear down the 30-year-old building.
The Palace of the Republic project reflects on both the positive and negative aspects of the former Palast and is a proposition which offers a dialogue with the contemporary world suggesting what a quasi-communist utopia can offer as an alternative and their potential implications.
Another alternative to the idea that in 2007, the Bundestag definitively voted for the Prussian-era Stadtschloss to be rebuilt on the site of the Palace of the Republic could be the following. ( Three façades of the Stadtschloss will be exact replicas of the original, but the interior will be a modern one. The new palace will be called the Humboldtforum. In November 2008 the Italian architect Francesco Stella was chosen for the project. )
Lavender Farm – the Factory,
To support the activities within the Palace, the lavender farm produced lavender oil to be used in the new bathhouse. The oil could be used for massage and could be added into the water for relaxation and soothing purposes. Lavender flowers in addition, were dried to make lavender tea which would also be consumed within the bathhouse.
Set in the purple lavender fields, the farm building consisted of the drying towers and the steam distillation chambers. To contrast with the undulating fields and the purple haze produced from farming activities, the language of architecture played up the theme of monumentality and possessed the quality of a modern ruin. In many ways, the powerful presence of the building hinted the underlying monitoring activities happening within the U(dys)topia to ensure U(dys)topian’s compliance with the common ‘ideals’.
The building was also illusionistic in nature and the facade was a play of light and shadows to create the seemingly perfect vision as an analogy to what U(dys)topia stands for, a dream where people aspire to but is never achievable.