199 steps. Up here, everything looks a little different. Surrounded by a distant wall of prefabricated buildings, the commercial and industrial area around Herzbergstrasse lies like an island in the city. The television tower lies to the west behind the slabs around Landsberger Allee. In the east, wind turbines show up between the slabs of Marzahn.
These are the two towers of the former VEB Elektrokohle Lichtenberg. After the fall of the Berlin Wall, the former production facility was demolished and only the two concrete towers remained because the demolition costs were too high. Thus, the two towers are not only building ruins, they are also the remnants of a past idea of the future. Of ideology and strength, of technology and economy.
‘’How can we, as architects, not only design the thing, but the advent of this idea into culture?”. If one follows this thought, the meaning of speculation in architecture changes, shifting away from a purely economic to a design concept.
This location is not only visually stunning, but it also offers unrivalled convenience. Crews and equipment can easily navigate the surroundings, ensuring a seamless production process. As you soak in the ambiance, let the historical towers of the former VEB Elektrokohle Lichtenberg transport you to another era, providing a distinctive backdrop that tells a story of the past.
Based on the small Italian town in Tuscany, which is known for its (gender) towers and with the goal of making a reuse of the towers both thinkable and possible, their meaning had to be enhanced in order to open up an imagination beyond the Berlin ruin chic. This is how the story “San Gimignano Lichtenberg” was born.
The two towers are a symbol for the change of seemingly alternative values and structures: of political systems, of economic models, of ecological awareness.