Pallasseum

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The Pallasseum is a building complex located in the heart of Berlin, right near the Gleisdreieck station. I it built on a place where the old Berlin Sportpalast used to be, and that is where it gets its name.

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I is a large concrete construction with straight, simple design and as such is a good example, although not a perfect one, of the Brutalist residential architecture. The building is mostly naked concrete, although some rudimentary elements of color are also introduced.

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The building spans over a street that runs below it and over a World War II overland bunker, with wchich it form a unified whole.

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As a high rise building project is is a part of Berlin’s larger strategy to provide as much living space as possible without using land, so scarce in Berlin in the times of the Cold War, duricg which West Berlin was surrounded by the Berlin Wall. It that regard it can be considered together with places like Märkisches Viertel or the Gropiusstadt, albeit much smaller and narrower in scope.

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Just like those other projects, the Pallasseum too fell into disrepute very fast after its opening. It became as so called ‘social flash point’ (Sozialler Brennpunkt), a term formally used in Germany to designate high risk high crime neighbourhoods.

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It became a place of violence and vandalism, and the situation deterriorated into the future. In hte 1990’s this led the administration to install closed doors and fences at all entrances as well as inside of the complex, to prevent accidental visitors from comming in.

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Together with the raise oof popularity and wealth of Berlin and its inhabitants, the area became much safer, so it is more or less safe to visit as long as you manage to find an open entry door.

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