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26 June 2010

Berlin - Day 22 - 2010-6-22

The Church of Reconciliation (Kapelle Versoehung). It was located in the no-man's land between the inner and outer portions of the Berlin Wall, and thus it was demolished in the 1980's. What you seeh was recently rebuilt in its place using the surrounding dirt and debris from the former church to make walls out of rammed earth (similar to concrete but earth from the site makes up most of the mix) on the inside.

Rammed earth on the right. It forms a circle that contains the chapel in the center. You can make out the layers that were added and rammed. It ends up looking like a mix between rough concrete and a sedimentary rock.

The only remaining section of the Berlin wall with an in tact "kill zone" - that is, no-man's land that was cleared so that guards could shoot you if you tried to cross. The memorial is stainless steel on the inside and cor-ten steel (steel that rusts to form a protective patina) on the outside.

The 1936 Olympic Stadium. Designed by Werner March.

Le Corbusier's Unité d"Habitation. Corb's idea was to create a sort of mechanized living habitat, not entirely dissimilar to his fascination with planes; cars, and boats, which contained all the functions needed to live. Commercial space was supposed to be included but it ended up not happening... making it a 17 story high rise in the middle of a field. The German codes required that he raise ceiling heights by at least a meter. All the proportions, based on the golden section, were thrown out and by the time it was completed Corb basically washed his hands of the entire project. Not a big fan of him or this project, but you do have to be semi amazed that this was one of the first buildings (3 of these were built here) of this nature that would soon cover the earth and affect the lives of hundreds of millions of people for generations (see: south side of Chicago).

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