High-tech architecture in Berlin: heritage protection should promote the use of the ICC – Berlin

The protection of the heritage of the International Congress Center (ICC) announced Tuesday is the starting signal for a renovation of the building in public-private partnership. The Messedamm's technically ill and contaminated "spaceship", which was closed in 2014 and temporarily used as a shelter for refugees, should become an attractive place for major congresses and cultural events. Supposedly completed by a hotel, instead of the parking garage at the demolition work located at the south end of the gigantic building of 320 meters long.

On 13 closely printed pages, the Landesdenkmalamt establishes the historical, artistic and urban significance of the ICC, which turned 40 this year. The national and international significance of this exceptional building justifies a "public interest in conservation". The decommissioned Congress building in Messedamm, to the west of the city, is a "visible landmark", a landmark for the cosmopolitan and progressive city.


According to the official conservatives of the monument, the importance of the ICC was capital for the economy and image of the former West Berlin. And they point out that it is the most important example of "high-tech architecture" in Germany. Quite comparable to the Pompidou Center in Paris or the Century Tower in Tokyo. Architects Ralf Schüler and Ursulina Schüler-Witte have achieved "the excellent architectural, architectural and organizational success" of designing an infrastructure that can accommodate up to 20,000 participants in a confined space between l & # 39; 39, the city motorway, Messedamm and S-Bahn, which ran smoothly and pleasantly.

A work of space and light

The official rationale for heritage protection also stresses that the ICC is a "piece of art of space and light inspired by contemporary art". The conference machines have been condensed architecturally and constructively to form an aesthetically appealing "city sculpture". The current public interest in the ICC proves its importance. State Conservative Christoph Rauhut assumes that the historical preservation of the congress building, discussed for five years and completed, will not prevent commercial use of the ICC.

On the contrary. This decision strengthens the security of planning for private investors wishing to revive the venue of the congress, said Rauhut the Tagesspiegel. He announced that the preservation of historic monuments would be managed in a pragmatic way: "We will play our part with a sense of proportion". The State Conservative expressly welcomed the good cooperation with the Senator of Economy Ramona Pop (Grüne), the Senator of culture Klaus Lederer (Linke) and Berliner Immobilienmanagement GmbH (BIM),

The Senate's Urban Development Department is preparing a building maintenance plan for the ICC. It specifies which components must be protected in a particularly complete way – and which ones can be changed. The basic structures of the congress building will certainly not be affected. According to Rauhut, this will bring an "icon" of architecture to the market. First of all, however, obsolete and heavily attacked building services – from the basement to the roof – have to be renewed. In addition, the removal of pollutants will be re-examined.

200 million euros for the use of the Senate

The withdrawal and renewal of ICC technology is the responsibility of the Senate. For the building to be used again, nearly 200 million euros are available in the financial planning of the Senate. More funds, about $ 3 million, should help private investors. The goal is a "mixed use", but resuming the operation of the congress should be in the foreground. An event of interest was completed in the spring. "Given the protection of monuments," said Senator Pop.

The offers are now prepared for the ICC. As part of a concept procedure, interested private parties should be given criteria of use to which they should orient themselves. As far as possible, Pop also wants to clean up the building with pollutants. Although the reopening of the ICC is not expected before the next decade, the danger of demolition or unstoppable decline seems out of the question for the moment. In this context, it is worth remembering the legendary hall of Germany, listed building and demolished anyway in 2011. Or the Palace of the Republic, formerly the eastern equivalent of the ICC, which disappeared from the scene in 2008.

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