Replica luminaires

Berlin, Germany

Karl-Marx-Allee was ini­tially called Stali­nallee and the street was intended to demon­strate the pres­tige of the former GDR cap­i­tal of East Berlin. Fol­low­ing the dev­as­tat­ing destruc­tion of the war, Germany’s ​“first social­ist street” was designed in a neo­clas­si­cal Stal­in­ist style in the 1950s. An entire sec­tion of Karl-Marx-Allee between Otto-Braun-Straße and Straußberger Platz was recently upgraded – as part of a mod­erni­sa­tion of Berlin-Mitte which had to be in line with accepted con­ser­va­tion prac­tice. Part of the project was the return of street light­ing with a futur­ist 1960s design to the area close to Alexan­der­platz.

Between 1962 and 1969, when the block-con­struc­tion build­ings in this sec­tion of the street were com­pleted, can­tilever street lanterns made at the social­ist VEB ​“Leuchte­bau Leipzig“ were installed. The design of the lanterns was fairly bold and dif­fered from the typ­i­cal street light­ing used in East Berlin city at the time After only seven years how­ever it was demol­ished – pre­sum­ably for rea­sons of sim­plic­ity – and replaced with Leipzig Droplet Lumi­naires, which was the most common model used for stan­dard street light­ing in the GDR.

Almost 60 years later, 39 repli­cas of this former GDR lantern that are faith­ful to the orig­i­nal have now been returned to the same part of the city in Karl-Marx-Allee. At a height of 15.5 metres, the hexag­o­nal poles serve as a reminder of an age that has almost been for­got­ten. With their con­tem­po­rary light­ing tech­nol­ogy, it is now pos­si­ble to expe­ri­ence the extra­or­di­nary light­ing design of the 1960s once again.

project: Karl-Marx-Allee: Reconstruction of street lighting with 1960s design

client: Senate Department for the Environment, Transport and Climate Protection / Berlin Monument Authority

photographer: Claus Boeckh

Get in touch
We look forward to realise extraordinary projects with you.

Select Region and Language

Just like other websites, we use cookies to improve and personalize your experience. We collect standard Internet log information and aggregated data to analyse our traffic. Our preference and marketing cookies allow us to adapt our content and ads to our audience's interests.