Reframing Berlin (Book)

Architecture, Memory-Making and Film Locations

Reframing Berlin investigates the concept of urban memory through the transformation and/or consistency of the built environment. These architectural changes, defined as urban strategies, range from demolition (forgetting) to memorialisation (remembering) and are shown through case studies using film locations in Berlin. 64 b/w illus.

Series: Mediated Cities


Reframing Berlin is about how architecture and the built environment can reveal the memory of a city, an urban memory, through its transformation and consistency over time by means of ‘urban strategies’, which have developed throughout history as cities have adjusted to numerous political, religious, economic and societal changes. These strategies are organised on a ‘memory spectrum’, which range from demolition to memorialisation.

It reveals the complicated relationship between urban strategies and their influence on memory-making in the context of Berlin since 1895, with the help of film locations. It utilises cinematic representations of locations as an audio-visual archive to provide a deeper analysis of the issues brought up by strategies and case studies in relation to memory-making.

Foreword by Kathleen James-Chakraborty

A new volume in the Mediated Cities series from Intellect

Christopher S. Wilson is an architecture and design historian at Ringling College of Art + Design in Sarasota, Florida, USA. He is also the “scholar-in residence” of the non-profit Architecture Sarasota.

Gul Kacmaz Erk is a senior lecturer in architecture at Queen’s University Belfast, Northern Ireland, UK. She is also the founding director of CACity (Cinema
and Architecture in the City), Collaborative Research Group.


Kathleen James-Chakraborty


Berlin: The Remembered City 

Urban Memory 

Urban Strategies 

Memory in Berlin 

Filmstadt Berlin

  1. Out of Sight, Out of Mind: Demolition 

New Reich Chancellery 

Palace of the Republic 

  1. Here Today, Gone Tomorrow: Temporary Installation

Escape Tunnels 

Wrapped Reichstag 

  1. From Scratch: New Construction 

Sony Center 


  1. Business or Pleasure?: Disneyfication 

Checkpoint Charlie 

Berliner Stadtschloss 

  1. Cycle of Life: Mutation 

The Berlin Wall 

Potsdamer Platz 

  1. Prosthetic Limbs: Supplementation 

The Reichstag Dome 

Berlin Olympic Stadium 

  1. Frozen in Time: Suspension 

Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church 

Topography of Terror 

  1. On the Move: Relocation 

Grand Hotel Esplanade 

Victory Column 

  1. Survival Instinct: Adaptation 

Berlin Techno Clubs 

Berlin Bunkers 

  1. Altered States: Appropriation 

Berlin TV Tower 

Neue Wache 

  1. My Precious!: Preservation 

The Brandenburg Gate 

Berlin State Opera 

  1. Once upon a Time: Memorialization 

Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe 

Stumbling Blocks 

Conclusions: Berlin: Remember When …

Berlin Lessons 

The Global Context 




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