Urbanisme, Berlin, Germany, 1958
Competition for the reconstruction of the center of Berlin which was destroyed by the war.

There had been no hesitation; no need to pull down masterworks of the past in order to rebuild. The demolition had been performed by aeroplanes and nothing was left standing in the center of Berlin. The German government had invited Le Corbusier to participate in the competition. In Berlin Le Corbusier found himself faced with the problems which he had already studied for the center of Paris forty years earlier.

In Berlin it was net practicable to take the city on a ride into the countryside or the forests of Brandenburg. The program had been very well prepared by the authorities. The planning study was made in the atelier at 35 Rue de Sèvres with extreme care, a total realism. The time had come to take advantage of forty years of study and experimentation in architecture and planning.

But the feat of planning in three dimensions was considered a crime. Of 86 projects thirteen were retained ; the thirteenth was that of Le Corbusier. It was eliminated. The report of the Jury declared that the project had completely resolved the problems of circulation in large cities such as Berlin, but that a certain building, which was quite high, hid a municipal administration building located on the other bank of the Spree. Before the bombardment and the destruction this latter building was, as all of the buildings of this height, visible only from its immediately adjacent surroundings. This excellent design conforming with the principles advocated by CIAM for thirty years (1928-1958), a modern exercise in three dimensional planning, was rejected. Walter Gropius was to have been a member of the Jury and it was for this reason that Le Corbusier had agreed to participate. Walter Gropius remained in America because of his health. How­ever, also on the Jury were Alvar Aalto, Van Eesteren and Pierre Vago ! ...
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