The Alexanderplatz area is a beautiful spot for looking at some of the most extravagant socialist architecture. One of the most notable buildings is a seemingly ordinary skyscraper that is wrapped in a colorful mosaic.
The building dates from the early 1960s and was erected in place of its predecessor which was bombed during warfare. It was the first skyscraper in the area and was built to impress. Designed by the Hermann Henselmann, B. Geyer, and J. Streitparth architect collective, this 12-story high-rise was at its time Europe’s most advanced center for teachers and educators—sporting a huge library behind the three-story spanning mosaic that held over 650,000 books, but also a cafe, restaurant, bar, bookshop, and cabaret.
The mosaic itself was designed and implemented by Walter Womacka and uses a staggering 800,000 stones. The work of art is titled “Our Life” and showcases idealistic snippets of socialist life in East Germany, with a special focus on educators. The style is made in that of Mexican mural art and it is one of the largest works of art in Europe.
Know Before You Go
The mosaic is freely accessible.