From Berlin to Tel Aviv, a Tale of Two Concrete Monstrosities

Both are of the same period, their construction dragged on for years and provoked similar reactions. What distinguishes Berlin’s Mouse Bunker from Tel Aviv’s New Central Bus Station?

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Esther Zandberg
Esther Zandberg
Esther Zandberg
Esther Zandberg

If admirers of Brutalist architecture thought they had seen it all, then Berlin awaits them with the style’s most outrageous monument. The building, situated in West Berlin’s Steglitz district, is “concreteism” par excellence. It was designed in the 1960s but only completed in 1981. The plan was conceived by the architects Gerd and Magadalena Hänska, and like many other Brutalist buildings it is both repulsive and spectacular. The exposed concrete exterior is the very definition of roughness and anything that looks like an adornment has a very specific purpose. The blue tubes that stick out like shotgun barrels provide ventilation. The angled slanted windows provide light.

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