Hejduk's Kreuzberg Tower - petition to save it!


Save Hejduk's Kreuzberg Tower in Berlin from unsympathetic refurbishment!

Sign the petition below:

Mar 21, 10 11:15 pm


743 as of right now.

Mar 21, 10 11:21 pm  · 

if you believe in the statement of the petition, please sign it and please forward the link to as many friends, colleagues, associates and family as you can.

surely, there should be 1,000s who see the value in maintaining the vision of the very few John Hejduk works that exist.

Let's see what force this voice of architecture (archinect) has on the commercial market.

Mar 22, 10 2:09 am  · 

How about a visual?

Mar 22, 10 2:41 am  · 

Where is the petition to demolish it post haste?

I want to sign that one.

I'll bet that the people who want that eyesore torn down immediately (deconstructed HA) to those who want to preserve it is 100:1.

Of course Hejduk's egotistical daughter, Renata is part of the 1 side of the equation! She is married to the dean of ASU and didn't even take the guy's last name (in an effort to retain the marketability of her maiden last name of course bwhahahaha).

Mar 22, 10 10:01 am  · 

Is there any sort of significance to the building that would warrant it being saved and never altered?

I admit to not knowing a whole lot about Hejduk, so perhaps if you could explain why this would be important to save, beyond it being one of his few actual built projects

Mar 22, 10 2:00 pm  · 

"Winston Smith" is an idiot.

Hejduk was dean of the Coop in its greatest days.

Mar 22, 10 5:09 pm  · 

And what does being the "dean of Cooper Union" mean anyway?

So freaking what?

In fact, that makes all the more reason why it and all the god awful monstrosities like it should be completely demolished post haste.

Now maybe if he were to have been the dean of some Beaux Arts school or one that actually practiced Architecture...

Your argument has as much merit as saying, "b-b-b-but Hejduk was the dean of the greatest School of Waste Management that there ever was. We just can't disturb such a sacred work as this -this ode to the monuMENTALity of Refuse"

Time to take out the trash.

In fact, the new Cooper Union Building is even more trashier than the building currently in question...a great big steaming turd celebrating the monuMENTALity of a bile pile of dog poop.

Mar 22, 10 6:25 pm  · 

While I'm not about to unequivocally join WnstonSmith in the crusade against this building, I also wonder about its significance.
From an entirely ignorant position, I have to admit that it looks pretty horrendous.

So, to the posters of archinect, what is it about this particular building that makes it work saving?

Inform me, please.

Mar 22, 10 7:45 pm  · 

winston: your vile commentary only exposes your ignorance, insolence, and inability to navigate or even mildly express an argument in english.

the only trash here is your unnecessary and useless diatribe.

Mar 22, 10 8:06 pm  · 

vile commentary: a vile commentary to match a vile usurpation of the profession

ignorant: n/a on this topic. I am an expert.

inability to navigate an argument in english: not needed when one knows that they are not wrong in the least. I'll leave the navigating to those who steer too close to the rocks.

inability to mildly express an argument in english: see above

insolent: check

The only thing that is useless is the endless bowing at the alter of modernism that typically occurs here, absent any logical or reasonable debate.

Why should the ugly monstrosities that modernists have foisted upon humanity over the past 100 necessarily be preserved?

I don't think the Nazi concentration camps should necessarily be preserved either.

Mar 22, 10 8:22 pm  · 


If you are an expert on this topic, can you tell me why this would be a building of any importance, or why anyone would want to preserve it?

and not just you, anyone who knows about it or feels that it should be preserved. Can you explain why? It looks rather unimpressive from the couple of photos i have seen

I personally dont see the big deal about the building, one way or the other. I see no reason why it should be preserved, and i dont see a reason why it is that terrible that we need to knock it down (though i acknowledge that was an intentional exaggeration)

Mar 22, 10 8:39 pm  · 

Winston I thought you were going to Med School? Wha happen? Did they figure out that you were going to perform a self lobotomy?

Mar 22, 10 10:24 pm  · 

marmkid: thank you for noticing that I often use the technique of exaggerating for the purpose of illustration. However, I am mostly serious when I say that I cheered when REM's eyesore/ soulsore in China went up in flames and I would have a similar reaction should each and every one of Hejduk's works would be leveled this morning.

"If you are an expert on this topic, can you tell me why this would be a building of any importance, or why anyone would want to preserve it?"

Because the profession is currently setup to orbit around "who is who" versus a true meritocracy.

If you have the right connections behind the scenes to "certain" names then you preserve your access to the power and money in the profession.

There is no empirical evidence, for example, to support the fadish frenzy behind the current architectural empire that espouses the supposed merits of "design" to the exclusion of the Architect as Master Builder. REM and Gehry are epic examples of this disturbing phenomenon. Hejduk is semi-epic but a major player along the "modernist" route to the subversion of the true, noble and otherwise virtuous pursuit of a bonafide Architecture.

Bottom Line: That building is an atrocious example of the systematic dehumanizing influence that has permeated the profession via the "theories" of modernism. It does not elevate humanity's finer impulses, rather, it divides and alienates the individual from themselves first and then systematically projects that schism to the community and then the nations as a whole.

That building promotes the stripping away of the identity of the individual, community, and nation.

You even see it here on the forum, i.e. why else would there be an assumption that everyone who visits this forum is going to sign a petition to necessarily preserve it in the first place. To the degree that individuals are separated from their own internal identity and that identity is replaced by one that is ssytematically imposed on them from the outside, that is the degree to which the individual loses power and the system that imposed their values in the first place gains its power.

The system is very strong currently. The individual is extremely weak currently. This is not an accident. Hejduk and those like him are smart enough to know this. They have been waging this war against humanity since the beginning of time. And they have apparently won over this generation. Battle lost, but the war will eventually be won by the Divine Human.

Now, I'd like someone to appeal to logic and reason and explain just why exactly the assumption should be made that this building should be preserved in any way?

My position is that most likely, based on precedent, the only reason driving the mad dash to preserve this building is based 100% on "brand name" recognition of "Hejduk", and the corresponding desire of those who are friends and family (yes, it is like the mafia) to keep the name shrouded in mysterious idol worship in the History books.

There isn't any deeper of a relationship to this particular building other than what might be evidenced within the soda pop industry for the desire to preserve the name "Coca-Cola" until the end of time.

It is international corporate "branding" at its most blatant and the contemporary profession has swallowed the poison hook, line, and siker.

Mar 23, 10 11:29 am  · 

edit: change siker to "sinker".

Mar 23, 10 11:31 am  · 

ok, you've convinced me!! i wholeheartedly agree.

in fact, lets throw in the demolition of the glass house; it can't possibly be enviro-friendly or particularly useful socially.

and the farnsworth. . even the original client felt too exposed; useless architecture!! and that barcelona thing? why was it even rebuilt?? fucking useless pavilion.

and everyone knows kahn's laboratory doesn't meet the needs of modern science practices so let's burn the bitch!!

in fact, let's erase all of modernist history!! it was the least sustainable and too 'utopian' anyways.

yea, and hejduk was SOOOOOOO anti-'humanity'. cooper under his reign was void of the poetic and refused to acknowledge discontinuities and the dissonances of existence. by retaining one of the very few that materialized, we are feeding that evil self-referential institution-machine that is chaining us all.


ok. i'll stop now with the immature sarcasm.

seriously now: i, like so many other intelligent people here, get frustrated by this ubiquitous 'system' and getting stuck in the, to borrow your term, 'coca-cola'-ing that exists in academic circles and also in industry. and i mean all of the self-referencing, insulated, meaningless esotericism that can permeate—BUT not all of this is useless, egomaniacal banter.

furthermore, the phrase 'things aren't the way they used to be, and probably never were' applies here. what we retain over time from our histories and who (and what) emerges into focus is something only time can tell. in the meantime, the academe cannot simply stop. we cannot simply erase our histories hoping it will make way for something 'better'. the moment you exclude is the moment you set up this either/or argument (i.e. 'bad 'vs 'good', 'collective' vs 'individual', 'institution' vs 'rebel'). the truth is that both extremes, and everything in-between, do exist and are part of our story.

to allow the perverse augmentation or demolition of a notable piece of architecture (whether you believe it is notably good or notably bad) is criminal. i maintain it is criminal to intentionally silence or erase this, especially if it is able to maintain conflicting emotions and expressions from so many people. as a professor recently told me 'show me what you think is ugly and i'll show you how i find it beautiful'.

Mar 24, 10 6:51 pm  · 

uhhhhh: I with you except fot he burning of the Salk Institute. It is built of reinforced concrete. Therefore, it can't be burned. We'll have to use heavy wrecking balls and the like...personally, I would like to see dynamite used in some capacity to bring 'er down.

Erasing hisotry and imposing the concept of tabula rasa on our history is exactly what the modernists have been purposefully doing for many decades. And I'm not talking about your average professor at any old public architecture school. I am talking about the "social engineers" amongst us who generally inhabit positions of leadeship that enable them to conduct their dastardly social experiments on an otherwise naive public.

Of course the papimpset is a superior concept; but even that insinuates a subversion of the existant with a subordination of the past in favor of the future.

And that whole, modernist b.s. of "beauty is in the eye of the beholder" is just that b.s..

Purists have known for millenia that there are objective standards for beauty. Certain forms, orders, proportions, etc. generally illicit the same response across a general cross section of any given population.

If it were not so, McDOnalds would be trying to get people to eat their food with a color scheme of green and purple (and images of puke) in the background instead of red and yellows. If it were not so Playboy would be featuring an 80 year old Sophia Loren or a 20 year old Rosie Odonnel every month.

Get over it people. There is order in the universe and the planets follow the path...are you dumber than the dirt itself is?

Mar 24, 10 7:04 pm  · 

edit: "palimpsest" not papimpset.

Damn I need a secretary to transcribe my dictation.

Mar 24, 10 7:06 pm  · 

Give me a fucking break, with your antiquated Beaux Arts revisionism. God, as a physician, do you plan on utilizing bloodletting for curing melancholy?


Mar 24, 10 7:32 pm  · 

winstonsmith: please indulge a few questions out of honest curiosity--

at what point in history do you believe it all went so wrong? is it a clean break with wright, corbu, mies, loos? or do you suppose the seeds were planted earlier, perhaps ledoux, boullee? maybe as far back as palladio?

also, is your conservatism limited to architecture, or does it extend to art, music, literature, philosophy, or politics? does your reading stop at plato, or does it extend to burke? you obviously can't stand derrida, but what about heidegger? what do you think caravaggio would have thought of, say, cezanne? or vermeer of van gogh?

in your opinion, do your personal aesthetic preferences always align with what you perceive as the preferences of the general population?

like i said, just curious...

Mar 24, 10 7:47 pm  · 

No I won't be using techniques popular during the dark ages. I'll leave the contemporary dark age practice of supersitions and Inquisitions to the "modernists", like the so called "benefits" of "diversity" and multiCULTuralism, and hedonistic worship of concrete and glass and the human as animal, and the worship of the Fiat/ Keynesian money gods by the ignorant masses (money & healthcare grows on trees & "improved" Excel spreadsheets? shyeah, right).

(And I thought the lessons from the Tower of "Babbel" had been learned).

Architecture (Master Building) is D.O.A. at this point. May it Rest In Peace. All you Master Designers can dance the victory jig on its grave all you'll live or die to regret it sooner or later...this economic meltdown may very well be the "sooner".

Christ was resurrected. Half Human, all son of the Eternal Father of Our spirits. If we obey His commandments each one of us humans can eventually become Divine as well, if we only so choose Eternal Life instead of death.

so-called "Modernism" is nothing more than a contemporary religion of death as preached and practiced by a soulless profession. The pursuit of maximizing the temporary pursuit of pleasure at the expense of sustainable human joy is the modernists message that they proselyte. Furthermore their perpetual goal has always been to strip the Divine portion of an individual's identity and replace it with their own image, motivations, and desires...which, any way you slice it, eventually leads to death and decay.

I'd rather elevate the Divinity within myself and each one of us rather than cater to the animal that is there as well. It is up to each one of us. We can choose.

Like I said before, even the planets know their place within the order of the universe, are you dumber than the dirt beneath your feet? Apparently.

Mar 24, 10 7:54 pm  · 

wow... nuff said.

Mar 24, 10 8:28 pm  · 

how about this: stop spamming my thread. if you agree with the statements and care for Hejduk's work sign the petition.

if you dont, shut the f-ck up and dont sign it. NO ONE REALLY CARES WHAT YOU DO!

how much time did you just waste ranting at people? get your own blog and write your 'thoughts' there if you are so bored...

thank you to all those who signed or hit the back button...quietly

**further note to WS: you would have been best served doing what you said in your first post...create a petition against this petition and sign that...then you could have posted it here! oooooo

Mar 24, 10 8:59 pm  · 

1865 signatures and going strong!

Mar 24, 10 9:02 pm  · 

Fair enough...unless someone else makes a comment that I would like to respond to. As of this moment...I have nothing.

Mar 24, 10 9:10 pm  · 
rondo mogilskie

"I don't think the Nazi concentration camps should necessarily be preserved either."

You know...somehow, to advocate the demolition of Auschwitz at this point sounds even more lunatic-fringe than to advocate the preservation of this-and-that modernist monument.

And on top of that holy-roller/anti-multiCULTuralism talk...


Love to know WinstonSmith's views on women, feminism, etc

Mar 24, 10 9:28 pm  · 
rondo mogilskie


Mar 24, 10 9:29 pm  · 

although I am itching to respond to rondo, out of deference to the OP and his most recent post, I will refrain from commenting (for now...).

Mar 24, 10 9:37 pm  · 

rondo why do you have to get him started again.

we had reached a conclusion!

* but on the topic of former camps: they do not need to be nor should they be demolished or preserved, they should be left to crumble piece by piece.

ok go!

Mar 24, 10 9:39 pm  · 

" The pursuit of maximizing the temporary pursuit of pleasure at the expense of sustainable human joy is the modernists message that they proselyte. Furthermore their perpetual goal has always been to strip the Divine portion of an individual's identity and replace it with their own image, motivations, and desires..."

You must have been abused as a child and for that, I am sorry that you have to suffer through all of your dark chaos.

Do you seriously think Michelangelo, Palladio and others designed with no sort of self motivation or preservation?

Mar 24, 10 9:53 pm  · 

although I am itching to respond to you blackharp, out of deference to the OP and his most recent post, I will refrain from commenting (for now...).

Mar 24, 10 9:54 pm  · 

it's patently obvious that this nitwit has never even looked at any of Hejduk's works. anyone that has looked at Mask of Medusa, Vladivostok or any of the other books/works would be able to see how this building relates to the oeuvre of Hejduk, and to eliminate this work is not only short sighted, but is absolutely ignorant of his work's interconnectedness.

Mar 24, 10 10:04 pm  · 

Okay so his work is connected to itself? And what else besides Hejduk and Hejduk...its like a dog chasing its own tail or a plant with leaves, stems, branches, and a trunk , but no root.

(sorry justa visual...that one was already half typed before I remembered)...cutting it short though so you might say I'm improving.

Mar 24, 10 10:10 pm  · 

are you sure actually have an MArch?

Mar 24, 10 10:12 pm  · 

Also, to imply that modernists have some sort of conspiracy to strip away people's identities just sounds silly. You're just saying words to anger people.

You haven't mentioned anything from antiquity that would explain your ideal situation for providing "sustainable human joy" without having any personal motive from the Architect. Architects have always had a natural desire to compete and live after death because of some common thread dealing with self confidence and self- reliance (Emerson.)

Shouldn't the Architect be allowed to have joy in whatever way he wants? Seriously, you guys bitch all the time about the amount of time it takes to become one, so how are you not entitled to do whatever you want within the confines of the law? Perhaps their own image is more refined, calculated and worthy of being displayed, otherwise there would be someone else's building there and people discussing that person.

So, what you are saying is that modernists have no regard for others, and are parsimonious, soulless, egotistical self-indulgent people caged in a doomed period of decaying void?
"I'd rather elevate the Divinity within myself..."
^Your words, not mine.

The dark manner in which you present your case seems very morbid, and really its just an ugly building.

And to suggest that modernism isn't sustainable is an entirely different conversation, in which I'm sure your basket weaving of lofty words would be executed by you only to mask the fact that you have no foundation.

Mar 24, 10 10:21 pm  · 

"are you sure actually have an MArch?"

Absolutely. In fact there is a chance I might have even been a pupil of Hejduk's daughter herself...the "theorist" Renata "Hejduk" ( I wonder why she didn't take on her married name after all these years?)

Nothing like inspecting the source of the horse $hit up close and personal.

I just happen to have a different religion than that of "modernism"...always have, always will bow to a different, more Worthy alter than one invented by men for men.

Mar 24, 10 10:23 pm  · 

Winston, no building or Architect is ever just connected to itself such as a dog's tail because the buildings are made from materials which come from the earth. The dog's tail comes from the dog.

Am I seriously posting this?

Mar 24, 10 10:28 pm  · 

an update from the developer:

Project 96-97 Charlotte Street

As the new owner of the building ensemble 96-97 Charlotte Street in Berlin - Kreuzberg, we are planning the much-needed facade renovation.

According to first experiences in the past has been repeatedly brought to the request us to come in the design of the facade into a broader more public discussion, which takes into account the peculiarities of the building and its architecture into account.

We see ourselves as a responsible company, the reorganization value preservation and appreciation not only to perform, but the interaction of such measures with the environment and its particular circumstances is conscious.

Therefore, we ask ourselves like the challenge of finding a broad consensus on design.

Initial talks like a promising involvement of different stakeholders can be realized, are currently underway.

Gladly we inform you at this point in the procedure of continuous current.

Mar 24, 10 10:36 pm  · 

no you're not, because it's like arguing with a teenager.

1875 signatures and going strong!

Mar 24, 10 10:36 pm  · 
Mar 24, 10 10:50 pm  · 

Geez that is more of an eyesore than I remembered.

Yes you are ugly. Please somebody tear your ugly a$$ down or at least give you a substantial facelift.

Mar 24, 10 11:27 pm  · 

awww the elegance lies in its simplicity.....

sunshades, balconies, section, roof drainage etc etc

guys :(

Mar 24, 10 11:30 pm  · 

This building is indeed a very nice example of should i keep or should i go stuff.
I think it's a nice example of IBA's work and should be kept as a witness of the 80's architecture, maybe as an example of extremist architecture. Yes i also found it at first ugly when i saw it in '92: it was already dirty grey and not very sexy, even under the sun.. ( ok its far from beeing as ugly as Raimund Abrahams building next to it ).
I've then learned about its plans, sections and find it much smarter than it first seems. It also seems occupants liked it and does not seem to be a social hate creating place either.

The question is more about Hejduk's legacy used as main arguments in the defense of the building: Basically let's put it frankly: No one cares about Hejduk appart from people that attended US arch schools ( ok lets say CU) in the 80's and 90's. No one in europe knows about him, and his CU teaching is known to no one...

Maybe a handfull of people over here ( non english speaking europe ) heard of the medusa, the mother and the son strange schemes ( nice wood work btw..) so its true that the claim about the destruction of a piece of art linked to Hejduk's carreer is a bit strange for us euro architects... I personnaly think CU way of teaching and the influence of the deconstructivist in the US arch.schools in those years led us to object based architecture that is prevailing in big fancy building today..but that is another debate of course..

I signed the petition to defend the integrity of the work, not because its Hejduk's, but because it is a work of homogeneity, pure architectural vision and good answer to a site and a program ( in reality, there was supposed to be build a long low level housing blocking the view from Besselpark but it was never built). It is so rare to have visions turned into things that we need to fight for its preservation if we can.

Nils/playtime AA, France

Mar 25, 10 8:57 am  · 


being a Cooper grad, i'm obviously inclined to disagree with you about hejduk, his legacy, and his influence.

still, thank you for signing, but even more so, for writing an honest and well-informed post that can at least be the starting point of a discussion/critique.

Mar 25, 10 10:01 am  · 

What people who fawn over Hejduk's work is that they are victim's of a cruel, cruel joke.

Ask yourself, "Would I want to live in that prisonesque structure?"

I've seen prisons with more curb appeal.

Mar 25, 10 11:28 am  · 

I dont really get your objection Winston

If enough people like the building and want it preserved, why should your one opinion mean more than all of theirs?

No one has ever said you need to go live there

Mar 25, 10 11:30 am  · 

Because I represent the silent majority. Truth be told there are way more of me than there are of you.

"No one has ever said you need to go live there"

I am my brother's keeper to the extent I can try to my best ability. I would not want to live there and I wouldn't want any brother of mine to live there, either. Modernism is a sick joke leveraged on the unwitting masses by a scheming, cruel "elite".

Mar 25, 10 11:35 am  · 

we aren't fawning over it, we just argue that it has merit in the progression of architectural history and should be kept in tact. i can think of 100s of buildings which are totally worthless and would rather see gone. this, however, is not one of them.

it has earned its place in our history and should remain unaltered save a nice coat of paint and some careful restorations.

we can all learn SOMETHING from it. what not to do might be one of them for many...approach it as you wish and take from it what you will.

thanks to those who signed.

Mar 25, 10 11:35 am  · 

"...we can all learn SOMETHING from it..."

Yeah, like how NOT organize space for the in-habitation of human beings...and how to organize space for machines.

Mar 25, 10 11:39 am  · 

"Because I represent the silent majority. Truth be told there are way more of me than there are of you."

I actually am probably more on your side with this building than those who are signing the petition to keep it. I dont care enough one way or the other about it. If enough people can get the attention they need to preserve it, great. If not, and someone changes it, I wont give it a second thought really.

I sincerely doubt the silent majority is ranting about this building in their heads, and you just happen to be writing about it online. Just as i sincerely doubt your views are the silent majority about most of your posts

(ignoring the ridiculous idea that you are now claiming to speak for the majority of people about sure have the ego of an architect, that is for sure)

Mar 25, 10 11:42 am  · 

WS i just said maybe its what not to do....


Mar 25, 10 11:57 am  · 

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