The Historic Heart of Berlin − Then and Now
Erste Straße, Neustädtische Allee, Lindenallee, Lindenstraße − the grand boulevard "Unter den Linden" has been known by many names in the past few centuries
Bertelsmann's representative premises are situated at the eastern end of Unter den Linden, directly by the Schlossbrücke bridge and surrounded by some of the beautiful historic buildings in Berlin.
Over the centuries, the City Commandant's Headquarters were part of an ensemble that also included the Crown Prince's and Crown Princess's Palaces, the Zeughaus (armory), the Neue Wache, modern-day Humboldt University as well as the Forum Fridericianum (today's Bebelplatz), comprising the opera house (now the Berlin State Opera Unter den Linden, which is currently undergoing renovation), St. Hedwig's Cathedral, and the “Kommode” (formerly the Royal library now the Faculty of Law at Humboldt University).
The ensemble is completed by the faithful reconstruction of Schinkelplatz, which is located directly behind Bertelsmann's representative premises, Schinkel's Bauakademie – which is under (re)construction and currently exists only as a "model façade" – and the Friedrichswerder Church.
Most of this section of the boulevard was originally designed by two great names in Berlin architecture: Georg Wenzeslaus von Knobelsdorff and Karl Friedrich Schinkel.
Visitors can also experience the architecture of historic Berlin to the east of the Kupfergraben; on a stroll through the Lustgarten, past Berlin Cathedral to Museum Island with its complex of five major museums: the New Museum, Pergamon Museum, Old National Gallery, Old Museum and Bode Museum.
Opposite the Lustgarten and in the immediate neighborhood of Bertelsmann's representative premises, the Humboldtforum is now being built with the façade of the City Palace, Berlin. When the reconstruction of the palace has been completed, the buildings to its west and south – including the former City Commandant's Headquarters – will once again be put into their historical context in terms of design and scale.
You can watch the construction of the City Palace/Humboldtforum via the official webcam or by visiting the Humboldtbox, which offers plenty of information about the construction project as well as wonderful views of the surrounding area – including Bertelsmann Unter den Linden 1.
The reconstruction of the palace is just one of the building projects currently underway in the vicinity of Bertelsmann's representative premises. Residential and commercial buildings are being built behind Unter den Linden 1 to close the gap between Schinkelplatz and Friedrichswerder Church. Probably the largest building site, however, is the project to link the U5 and U55 underground lines. When completed, the new U5 will connect Alexanderplatz with Berlin's government quarter.
The construction of the U5 also had a major impact on the rebuilding of Bertelsmann's Berlin premises, given that UdL 1 is the only building on the boulevard that has the underground railway passing directly underneath it. As a result, the basement floors are much smaller than those above ground. It also means, however, that the building will soon have direct access to the commuter railway: one of the entrances of the future “Museumsinsel” station will be in the immediate neighborhood.