Making an entrance: an architectural extravaganza

Incredible ornamental wrought ironwork on a 19th-century building, Berlin

A large, 19th-century edifice located beside the canal on the Reichpietschufer was once headquarters to the Reichsversicherungsamt, the German Empire's foremost social insurance authority (today it houses Berlin's Social Science Centre, or WZB).

Former Reichsversicherungsamt - an extravagant Gründerzeit classic on the Reichpietschufer, Berlin

The building was, of course, designed to impress, and achieves this with all the extravagance typical of the so-called Gründerzeit period - its astounding wrought iron entranceway, in particular, probably merits a visit in its own right.

Elaborate iron entrance gates, Berlin
Gründerzeit wrought iron with Jugendstil influence, Berlin

In an interesting twist of coincidence, the WZB is located just a short distance from a very different building indeed: Mies van der Rohe's celebrated Neue Nationalgalerie, which, with its restrained, rational lines, is the complete antithesis of such effusive ornamentation.

Both locations are extraordinary, but it somehow seems unlikely that many of the Nationalgalerie's thousands of visitors walk the few steps to Reichpietschufer in order to gaze at one of Berlin's lesser known architectural gems.

Perhaps, after reading this, they will.

See also:
Art in the Potsdamer Platz
Berlin's 'villa colony'
Free concerts in the Berlin Philharmonie
A beautiful Berlin villa

WZB (former Reichsversicherungsamt) Reichpietschufer 50, 10785 Berlin

Bookmark to: Bookmark to: Facebook Bookmark to: StumbleUpon
Bookmark to: Bookmark to: Facebook Bookmark to: StumbleUpon


Back to top