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Friedrichstrasse 71-74

Pei Cobb Freed (Henry Cobb, lead partner) 1996

Its facade lights up at night. Providing an underground shopping connection between the Galeries Lafayette and a third Friedrichstrasse building with retail space, this mixed-use (retail, residential, & office) building playfully announces itself on the predominantly staid Friedrichstrasse, once the most important shopping street in Berlin. Quartier 206 is one among a large number of parcels along Friedrichstrasse which have been redeveloped in a concerted effort to return the street to its former glory.

Unlike the Galeries Lafayette one block to the north, (and true to mixed-use program) this building expresses no single identity. Its restlessly protruding and receding facade is supposed to recall the rhythm of many buildings on a block. This leads not so much to a sense of multiplicity, but of anonymity—which, depending on one’s outlook, is either unfortunate or quite appropriate for a building in a sophisticated world class city. The play of pattern and geometry on the facades is continued in a lens-shaped public atrium. The atrium’s intricately patterned floor, free-standing curved stair and escalators, and fine detailing are signature Pei Cobb Freed.

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Jay Berman 1999


How to visit

Take the Ubahn U2 or U6 to Stadtmitte and walk north along Friedrichstrasse. The building is block 206, between Franzoesische Strasse and Mohrenstrasse. It is open during shopping hours.



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