The Bauakademie (Academy of Architecture), built opposite the Royal Palace by Karl Friedrich Schinkel between 1832 and 1836, was a beautiful and most important building in the centre of Berlin. Furthermore it became the prototype for the future exposed-brick buildings in Prussia, whereas its extraordinary construction and building techniques pointed the way to modern architecture in general.
The Bauakademie was the last of the group of buildings that accomplished Schinkel’s concept of urban development, the so-called Kupfergraben landscape, a landscape garden interspersed with cubical elements. From far, the building presented itself as a cube with structured façades: eight window bays with tripartite windows between colossal piers, four storeys, each marked by moulding courses, and two portals on the north side. Bands of glazed tiles enlivened the face of the building, which was covered with the very finest tiles. The iconographic programme – terra cotta relief panels under the windowsills depicting “moments in the development of architecture” (Schinkel) – were the same on all sides. In its technology and its aesthetic aspect, the Bauakademie is held to be the model of the multi-storeyed factory of the 19th century in Germany.
The building was badly damaged by bombs on February 3, 1945, but reconstruction work began soon after the war. Unfortunately the re-planning of the ’socialist’ urban centre led to a building stop and, in spite of international and national protests, to its demolition in the 1960s, when its site was required for the Foreign Office of the then GDR. Since that building, too, was pulled down in 1995/96, the site has, in fact, stayed free for rebuilding the Academy.
The Association for the Promotion of Schinkel’s Academy of Architecture (Förderverein Bauakademie) has committed itself to promoting the rebuilding of the Academy by publishing the results of its work and by exhibitions, in collaboration with the ‘Study Group on the Usage and Financing of the Future Reconstruction of the Bauakademie’ as well as with the ‘Committee New Academy of Architecture’. In short, the aim of the Association is to support
The rebuilding of the Academy of Architecture with its original historic façade and build a modern interior that is determined by its function as an international congress centre with an emphasis on architectural innovation to link it with the former institution ‘Bauakademie’.