The Intro and The Outro- CAA 07 Report

So, I’m a week late with this.

I wanted to have my conference write up done while everything was still fresh in my mind, but when I got back I had people to catch up with (some of whom I don’t see too often) and in the day times really had to get ready for my next meeting with my supervisor, so now is the first time I’ve really felt I could take the time out to write.

Maybe a week’s reflection will make this a bit more ordered and tidy?

I’m going to actually turn it into a post for each day- there are quick links below to each one. It’s just that otherwise there will be far too much text in one place for anyone to read sensibly or comment on.

Sunday 1st

Monday 2nd

Tuesday 3rd

Wednesday 4th

Thursday 5th

Friday 6th

Overall thoughts:

The architecture in Berlin is fascinating; from the huge open streets (to drive tanks down, apparently) to the juxtaposition of very modern and daring with the medieval and faux-ancient. It seemed more daring, and the use of lighting was also very cool. I’d love to go back with a better camera because some of the night light-scapes were just astounding.

Public transport was brilliant. Cheap, clean, reliable and really good coverage of the whole city pretty much 24/7. I didn’t have to worry about missing the last bus as there was no ‘last bus’ apart from on Sundays and public holidays.

Germans do really good Italian food, and really good kebabs and falafel.

I really like wheat beer but it makes me poorly.

That part of Europe is really flat!

4 thoughts on “The Intro and The Outro- CAA 07 Report

  1. berlin wasn’t designed for tanks
    it was rebuilt as an imperial capital after the war with france in 1870, taking huisman’s paris as its model
    & paris was designed to have open streets & boulevards in part to make it easy for the army to quell insurrections
    by the time berlin was built, this was just the fashion for a new kid on the block (that & building lots of museums, etc.)

  2. Hi geoff, the bit about the Parisian model was explained to me as well, but I’m sure someone told me that in East berlin the societs designed streets for tanks to drive down, but that might have been sarcasm!

    The way cities (and especially streets) evolve fascinates me, and Unter Den Linten is a reallying interesting street. I read a great book once about great streets, from little residential roads to the boulevards of Paris. It was all about urban space and architecture, sightlines and such. I wish I could remember what it was called as I’d like to re-visit it (I read it in my teens, and didn’t get a lot of it, but think I’d get more out of it now!).

  3. You are both right. Today’s Berlin, being roughly 2/3 the size of London, is a mixture of political and functional architecture of the 17th to 20th centuries. Unter den Linden represents the Prussian kingdom of the 18th century, Friedrichstraße is a major axis that was developed in the 17th century. Many of the grand boulevards are also original baroque designs that pre-date the “Paris fashion” but were enlarged and altered thru the centuries. And yes, during Nazi times and the cold war era some of the city was redesigned for military needs. Especially East Berlin after WWII. Alexanderplatz is a prime example of this and still gives urban planners headaches. There is no linearity in these developments. The city’s shape is a grand mixture of historical events, philosophical and artistic influences. If you are interested in more information about the particularly beautiful neo-classicist designs, I suggest you google up some names such as Schinkel, Persius, Langhans, Knobelsdorff.

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