The Sony Center on Berlin's Postdamer Platz is one of the avant-garde buildings that represent the most current present of the German capital. When the Wall fell in 1989, the city quickly prepared itself to become a great capital of the unified Germany and also of the Europe of end of the 20th century. For this reason, a host of internationally renowned architects such as Arata Isozaki, Rafael Moneo, Richard Rogers or Helmut Jahn were summoned to erect their buildings in this place in the city, following the guidelines of the master project designed by Renzo Piano, author of Kansai Airport in Osaka.
Sony Center Cover
The result of that call is the Sony Center by Helmut Jahn, inaugurated in the year 2000. This building, in which glass, steel and curves prevail, houses in its interior a central square covered by a more than striking glass marquee that surprisingly rests on glass beams, whose radial placement recalls the wheel of a bicycle.
The building is very beautiful during the day when bathed in natural light, but reaches its full splendor at night when illuminated by colorful lighting.
It is a construction of a clear commercial character, since numerous restaurants congregate here,shops, a large cinema with different projection rooms, which is accompanied by the Filmmuseum or Museum of Cinema. And of course, here is also the headquarters of the Sony company in Europe, although this company sold the building and is no longer the owner.
On the other hand in the innovative project of Jahn, the architect was also able to integrate a part of the past of this area of Berlin. In this way, the sumptuous Kaisersaal is integrated within the groundbreaking contemporary architecture, which is actually the only room that has survived to this day of the legendary Hotel Esplanadefrom before World War II. A room that has been converted into a luxury restaurant.
In short, the objective of the Sony Center and the rest of the innovative constructions of Potsdamer Platz such as the DaimlerCity or the Beisheim Center, was to radically change this outstanding point of the urban fabric of Berlin and of course they have achieved it, since it must be taken into account that from 1961 to 1989, the presence of the Berlin Wall that separated the eastern from the western area, converted this square part of the dreaded “death strip”. That is to say, all its buildings were demolished and it was left as a zone between walls, in which it was strictly forbidden to pass. In fact, the guards had permission to shoot anyone who walked by. Numerous souvenirs of all this can now be seen on Potsdamer Platz.