Battleship Berlin

Director Nathan Eddy documents the demolition threat on the brutalist Mäusebunker

An American filmmaker based in Berlin, Nathan Eddy, has documented the efforts to preserve the Mäusebunker in a movie called Battleship Berlin. This 40-minute long movie shows the efforts to save the building and the point of view of those who want to tear it down.

Since we have been to the Mäusebunker a few times and we are fans of brutalist architecture in Berlin and beyond, we felt like this was something that we needed to talk about here. And before you learn more about the movie, we have to say that we are entirely against its demolition.

It was built between 1971 and the early 1980s, but it was closed down in 2010 due to some problems with asbestos. After it became vacant, the building was threatened with demolition, but some campaigns to save the building have put this on hold.

In Battleship Berlin, Nathan Eddy presents different opinions on the demolition topic. Among those who are keen on demolition is the dean of the Charité hospital, Axel Radlack Pries, that owns the building. For him, the building is a concrete monster that feels like a nightmare that has been brought into the world. And demolishing it would be better since another building can be constructed there.

On the other side, there are people like Johann König from the König Galerie, a cultural hub and art gallery created on the premises of the St. Agnes church in Kreuzberg. For him, it is possible to use the building differently and create something new from what already exists. This makes a lot of sense since there is no need to demolish such a piece of architectural history if the goal is to build something new there. There is more than enough space in Berlin for new buildings.

An American filmmaker based in Berlin, Nathan Eddy, has documented the efforts to preserve the Mäusebunker in a movie called Battleship Berlin. This 40-minute long movie shows the efforts to save the building and the point of view of those who want to tear it down.
An American filmmaker based in Berlin, Nathan Eddy, has documented the efforts to preserve the Mäusebunker in a movie called Battleship Berlin. This 40-minute long movie shows the efforts to save the building and the point of view of those who want to tear it down.
An American filmmaker based in Berlin, Nathan Eddy, has documented the efforts to preserve the Mäusebunker in a movie called Battleship Berlin. This 40-minute long movie shows the efforts to save the building and the point of view of those who want to tear it down.

For us, it was fantastic to see the Mäusebunker in Battleship Berlin since it shows the building in a beautiful way, including the tiled interiors that we had never seen before.

Many do not love the brutalist style of architecture, but it’s historically significant and quite unique in style. This type reached its popularity peak in the 1950s in the United Kingdom, during the post-war reconstruction, and its international peak came to be in the 1970s. A few brutalist buildings were left in Berlin, and we even documented our favourite ones in an article.

When it comes to the demolition of Mäusebunker, this feels like something unnecessary. Preservation is more critical than demolition. The unstoppable cycle of demotion and new construction work is too resource-intensive and something we don’t need right now. We believe that preservation should be the rule here. Not only for the architectural value of the building but for sustainability as well.

Since we have been to the Mäusebunker a few times and we are fans of brutalist architecture in Berlin and beyond, we felt like this was something that we needed to talk about here. And before you learn more about the movie, we have to say that we are entirely against its demolition.
The Central Animal Laboratory of the Freie Universität is one of the best examples of Brutalist architecture in Berlin, and we visited the building at the end of December 2016 to see this strange looking building in the middle of Lichterfelde. It took us a while to find it, but once you see it, there is no way of ignoring it based on its monstrous appearance and the contrast with the area surrounding it.
Since we have been to the Mäusebunker a few times and we are fans of brutalist architecture in Berlin and beyond, we felt like this was something that we needed to talk about here. And before you learn more about the movie, we have to say that we are entirely against its demolition.

We believe the Mäusebunker should be left as it is, an entire piece of art and architecture. Anything different than that would be considered desecration. Once change starts in something like this, there is no way to stop it. And, once it’s gone, it’s too late, and there is no way to bring it back.

You can learn more about the Mäusebunker in an article we wrote on the subject. You can watch the trailer that Nathan Eddy shot for Battleship Berlin here.

Mäusebunker


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