Leibniz-Kolonnaden - Berlin - Germany
The Leibniz-Kolonnaden are exemplary of the direct reuse and transposition of historic and non-native architectural “images.”
The construction of Walter-Benjamin-Platz may be seen as an emulation of neoclassical colonnade architecture, similar to that used in the design of public spaces in various Italian cities by the traditionalist architects surrounding Marcello Piacentini in the 1930s.
In 1984, Hans Kollhoff and Helga Timmermann’s proposal of a stone plaza reminiscent of the Italian Renaissance won the competition for the reinvention of Walter-Benjamin-Platz. The design went on to spark years of debate. It was not until 2001 thatthe plaza was completed—and framed by the Leibniz-Kolonnaden, two residential blocks seven and eight stories in height.
Like a typical Italian piazza, the plaza itself is completely covered in granite. Likewise, the buildings’ façades, classically” adorned with pilasters and cornices, are made of natural stone. Architectural examples were studied, adapted and interpreted down to the last detail, such as the floor mosaics, lamps, and door handles.
The Leibniz-Kollonaden are not the reconstruction of one building in particular, but an attempt to transfer qualities from another era and culture into contemporary Berlin.