Edited by: Riccardo Del Fabbro – Architecture Department Editor – riccardo.delfabbro@positive-magazine.com
Proofreading: Bianca Baroni
Where : Berlin, Germany
Artworks: “urban tragedy: example on chaos and order”


Chaos and order.
The concept of tragedy was born from these two elements.
From which point of view may this project take this meaning?
Euphoria, ecstasy, life, death, joy, sorrow.
Balance, measure, dream, beauty.

These are some of the synonyms that can be attributed to the state of chaos and order.
How is this architecture related to do with all these serious and deep words?
Let’s start from the beginning.
This building was a plant dedicated to the print, Rotaprint, which closed in 1989.
The designer was Klaus Kirsten, an architect born in 1929, graduated at the Technische Universität Berlin and included in his curriculum an experience with Giò Ponti in Milan.
The entire complex was designed by the mid 50’s onwards.


Morphologically from the outside the functions of the structure are easily understandable.
The real productive sector was represented by the white building in the courtyard.
The fascinating architecture on the corner, with its rough and concrete skin was used as workshop and boardrooms area.
These two ways of thinking about architecture, one opposite to the other, talks through denial, deeply enriching this monotonous residential area in the north of Berlin.


On the one hand we can find the pure example of an architecture set somewhere between international style and modern period, very fashionable in those years, and on the other a brutally and innovative architecture in terms of volumes and materials, a large trial that -you can’t deny- is brutal.
The words of Frederich Nietzsche help us to think that this complex is a beautiful representation and imitation of nature by architect Kirsten:
“… Which burst forth from nature herself, without the mediation of the human artist.” *
This scenario, certainly fictitious, that we’re trying to build, makes the discovery of these two extremes of architecture more compelling.


This state of nature’s imitation, this internal struggle between feelings, relationships, Dionysian (chaos) and Apollonian (order) moods leads our architecture (or imitation of nature) to merge into an unreal feeling, difficult to explain, often present in our way of life: the tragedy.
Tragedy is the perfect mix between chaos and order and describes, the most truthful as possible, what life is and means.
The functional significance of this architecture can be defined either by the word “work” and “creativity”, its volumes are regular, canonical for the architecture of those years, but at the same time volumes risk, move, trying to escape from the stereotype of modern architecture.
Every detail is successful, whether ordered or chaotic.


At the time of this project, arch. Kirsten had less than 30 years.
So finally, the following phrase might perfectly fit for a spontaneous compliment:
“This architecture is a true TRAGEDY!”

* The Birth of Tragedy, Frederich Nietzsche, 2000, New York, Oxford University Press

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