Berlin: an unfinished and open-ended dictionary

“Amnesia: The unsettling feeling of walking through a square that once was important and bustling with life, now being forgotten and desolate. The physical structure of the city does not always correspond with the living collective urban memory. 

Urban Condition: “The Berlin Wall as architecture was for me the first spectacular revelation in architecture of how absence can be stronger than presence. For me, it is not necessarily connected to loss in a metaphysical sense, but more connected to an issue of efficiency, where I think that the great thing about Berlin is that it showed for me how (and this is my own campaign against architecture) entirely ‘missing’ urban presences or entirely erased architectural entities nevertheless generate what can be called an urban condition.” (Rem Koolhaas in conversation with Hans Ulrich Obrist)

Utilization: Significant for Berlin is how an apparent difficult situation is utilized and transformed into something positive and productive.  People creatively use scrap-material, occupy under-utilized spaces and tend to be collaborative”. 

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