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gary h

Hall of Science precursor???

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Hi, I'm in Berlin and came across this church, built in 1961 - I wonder if Harrison had seen this before designing the HOS. Inside look is great, but those pics didn't turn out.

Here's 4 outdoor shots. (BTW - the HOS looks MUCH nicer!)

There's a wikipedia page on the church, Here tis: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kaiser_Wilhelm_Memorial_Church


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I never realized the similarity prior to seeing these particular photos.  The original church was built in the 1890s and clobbered during a night time bombing raid on Berlin in 1943.  It was mostly destroyed and then scheduled for demolition in the 1950s as West Berlin got back onto its feet.  Public outcry resulted in preservation of the ruins and the construction of this tower and a connecting wing, but it did not receive critical acclaim at the time.  To many, restoration of the original church was preferred and some suggested this design was insulting to what had once existed.  

Wallace Harrison had to know this.  It seems to me it is the interior blue window lighting that most suggests the HOS and not the exterior.  Harrison stated that his main objective was "a fresh approach to building a wall" when he designed the HOS.  (Stained Glass, Spring 1965)  The serpentine design is considerably different in technique and engineering than the Kaiser Wilhelm tower.  

Harrison was also an architect of great creativity and independence.  His works are all unique.  One time he did clearly find inspiration from an earlier design, at least in spirit, with his massive Corning Tower and the Egg theatre in Albany's Rockefeller Plaza.  They evoke his 1939 Trylon and Perisphere which he often lamented had not been permanent.  Rockefeller and Harrison did have plans for a huge arch near the NYS Museum end of the Plaza, but with massive cost overruns, it was not built.  Harrison did sketch an arch that resembled the then new St. Louis Arch so, he was, evidently, capable of finding inspiration from others.  (Albany Times Union, May 26, 2015)

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