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Deutsches Dokumentationszentrum für Kunstgeschichte - Bildarchiv Foto Marburg

Bildarchiv Foto Marburg is Germany's documentation center for art history. The archive contains around 1.7 million images. More...

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ICC Berlin
ICC Berlin, Saal 1, Blick nach Osten,
Aufnahme Thomas Scheidt, Bildarchiv Foto Marburg (Aufnahme-Nr. fmd460016)

ICC in Berlin under monument protection

The Congress Centrum in Berlin, built between 1973 and 1979, is considered to be one of the largest, most modern and, with nearly 11 million visitors, most successful convention centers in the world. At 320 meters in length, 80 meters in width and 40 meters high, architects Ralf Schüler and Ursulina Schüler-Witte created an event and communication center with a programmatic connection to the existing fairgrounds, which numbers among the most significant large-scale structures of so-called high-tech architecture. The aluminum covered, futuristic looking structure is borne by a steel lattice formwork construction and steel-reinforced concrete girders, which are integrated into the design of the interior rooms. Inside, it accommodates spacious foyers and 80 halls with seating for up to 9,000, equipped with ultramodern technology and connected by a large number of various stairways between open levels. The esthetic of the rooms is primarily determined by the architects' unified design concept complemented by art objects from a variety of artists.

The building closed in April 2014, since the fair organizers at Messe Berlin decided it was unprofitable to keep it open and the building was considered to be 'technically dilapidated'. So far, no viable solutions for further utilizing the structure after a refurbishment have come forth. Since even solutions have been discussed which would entail largely destroying the interior – such as turning it into a shopping mall – the State Committee for Monument Preservation (Vereinigung der Landesdenkmalpfleger) and the Association of State Archeologists (Verband der Landesarchäologen – VDL) at their annual meeting in June 2014 addressed a resolution for the preservation of the ICC to the Senate of the State of Berlin. This resolution emphasizes the high architectural quality, the good condition of the architecture and furnishings, as well as its great value as an example of the architectural heritage of the Cold War, and demanded that it be entered into the list of monuments in order to do justice to the historical, artistic and urban planning significance of the building. At one point, the resolution states, "This step is the precondition for treating the building as is called for by the principles of monument preservation, which also include its traditional utilization."

To support the resolution, Bildarchiv Foto Marburg is presenting black-and-white photos from the 1970s, as well as 250 excellent digital photographs of the interior of the ICC taken by in-house photographers Thomas Scheidt and Christian Stein in the winter of 2012.

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Last modified: 29.09.2014 · Heekyung Reimann

Deutsches Dokumentationszentrum für Kunstgeschichte - Bildarchiv Foto Marburg

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