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Joost Meuwissen, Scheme of the reconstruction of the Berlin Castle, April, 2005, central perspective, with the Pharmacy in the middle, and the Castle on the right.
© Joost Meuwissen, April 2005. Ball pen on paper, 29,7 x 21 cm., detail. Architect´s collection.


Project added 30 Apr 2005
Project type berlin schloss square


Scheme of the reconstruction of the Berlin Castle, April, 2005.

Joost Meuwissen

On July 4, 2002, the German Parliament decided that the Berlin Castle (Schloss) was to be rebuilt but it refrained from deciding on rebuilding the adjacent pharmacy as well. After no funds for re-erecting the Castle had been made available, a “Call for Ideas” was launched by the Urban Catalyst platform in cooperation with the Volkspalast initiative. The results were on display at the Palace of the Republic in Berlin from July 16 till August 26, 2005.

Slow Architecture.
My idea was to first rebuild the pharmacy that once stood next to the Castle. Being smaller and more profitable than the Castle, it would become more easily realised, and could come sooner.
As a first step, the pharmacy should be reconstructed. Only after that, we could contemplate a reconstruction of the Castle. Historically, the pharmacy was much more important than the Castle or the asbestos in the Palace of the Republic.
As a second step, we can then begin to slowly reconstruct the Castle, level by level, over a period of several generations. The process of reconstruction is the actual event, a collective challenge, reminiscent of the construction of Gothic cathedrals. The Castle will be divided in six storeys. Every 30 years, a new generation is responsible to reconstruct one storey. In this way, the reconstruction will become an exemplary ritenuto, slowly unfolding itself, allowing for many unforeseeable possibilities of future generations.
The Pharmacy will cut the disrupting traffic between Castle and the historic Pleasure Gardens (Lustgarten), which will be reconstructed according to the original 1828 plans of Schinkel and thus become a quiet place from which to observe the reconstruction process. In the year 2200, the Castle will be completed. The public focal point that bureaucrats always need to have is situated on the roof, the part of the building that is changing from generation to generation.

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