Giacomo Calandra di Roccolino

The skyscraper as a model. Reception of the tall building in Berlin in the first post-war period

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Keywords: Skyscraper; United States; Germany; Berlin; Behrens.

The skyscraper is an extraordinary typological and constructive invention. Two American cities compete for the primacy in the invention of skyscrapers: Chicago and New York. The first skyscraper can be identified with the Equitable Life Assurance Company Building. The fascination of this type of architecture soon spread to European architects. In Berlin the first to propose the construction of a skyscraper was Bruno Möhring, who designed a tall building for the Grand Berlin competition. The explosion of the debate on the skyscraper in Germany, however, occurred after the First World War, during the Weimar Republic. The first competition for the construction of a skyscraper in Berlin, took place in 1921. Few years later it was followed by the Alexanderplatz competition. Peter Behrens finally built two tall houses at Alexanderplatz without however renouncing the urban identity of Berlin. Since then the skyscraper will spread throughout Germany and Europe.

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