When it comes to tall structures, Berliners have a hard time admitting that they don’t really have any. Sure, there are some that stand over 165 metres high (the TV tower and the funky clock with world times and planetary movements on Alexanderplatz), but it’s a whole lot of ground to cover in order to qualify as a skyscraper. And when you take into account that Berlin’s population has doubled in size since reunification, it’s only natural that the city would have to start looking upwards for new housing solutions.
However, when it comes to constructing high-rises, the city’s inhabitants haven’t quite caught up with the needs of modern times – or at least not yet. Many developers have been stymied by strict fire safety regulations, and heritage protection officials are quick to block any construction that may affect the city’s historical landmarks.
In addition, the cost of building skyscrapers isn’t cheap – and that’s a fact that has been proven by the numerous projects that have gone awry in recent years. In order to make a project viable, investors have had to limit their height ambitions or even completely cancel their plans in the face of mounting financial losses.
Despite all the obstacles, a few brave companies have been able to get their projects off the ground. In this video, Fred Mills of B1M visits the construction site of FOUR Frankfurt, an office and hotel building designed by architects from the likes of UN Studio and Bjarke Ingels Group.