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  Friedrichshainer Spreeufer: A new quarter is growing at the East Side Gallery – Berlin | Bit Updates
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Friedrichshainer Spreeufer: A new quarter is growing at the East Side Gallery – Berlin

Wednesday, October 25th, 2017 | bitcoin updates


Michael Kötter spreads his arms like a city guide in front of a major building. "You are here in the auditorium of our Music Hall", says the project developer of the Anschutz Entertainment Group and knocks himself a little white dust from the trench coat. The 42-year-old stands between media representatives in a huge tantrum on the first floor of the building almost finished in the shell. On the floor at his feet a wide steel mesh, in which cement is still poured. Around him up to 20 meters high gray walls, from which the future audience ranks outstanding. Above the heads of the gray Berlin skies – the roof is still missing. It takes a lot of imagination to imagine that from the winter of 2018 pop concerts or sporting events will take place here. But in these days, the construction machines are pounding and screaming, five cranes are spinning over the grounds of the future Mercedes-Platz at the Mühlenstraße opposite the East Side Gallery on the banks of the river Spree in Friedrichshain. The square will be the centerpiece of the new urban development developed by the Anschutz Group and built for around 200 million euros directly in front of the former O2 World and present Mercedes Benz Arena. The remaining new building district on both sides of the Mercedes-Benz Arena is being built by other investors (see graphic). For the full view of the location plan, please click on the red cross.Photo: Anschutz Group In the early service day the construction site stood still for a celebration : 16 months after the first sod was celebrated for all four new buildings around the 6500 square meter Mercedes-Platz square. "We are on schedule," said Project Manager Michael Kötter, thanking the commissioned general contractor Hochtief. A side blow to Berlin's breakdown sites, such as the large airport BER or the recently reopened state opera, he did not care, although this would have been appropriate. The buildings of the Mercedes-Benz-Arena grew rapidly in 2017. Instead, Kötter and other speakers praised the "vision" of the "new meeting place or marketplace where people can enjoy and share their leisure time." This was the concept, but for this purpose the building was planned around the square. Two hotels and Zalando move in. What will be done there until the planned opening of the new city center in autumn 2018? Whoever enters the Mercedes-Platz from the Mühlenstraße, strolls first over a "typical city square", says Michael Kötter. Surrounded by buildings with brownish clinker facades, the floor paved with granite stones, shaded by plane trees. On the left, on the north side of the west, is a seven-storey hotel complex with two hotels: an Indigo Design Hotel with 118 rooms and a Hilton Business Hotel offering 254 rooms. Opposite, on the south-east side, stands a six-storey office building with around 9000 square meters of office space. It is already rented, the fashion online retailer Zalando draws in. On the roof of the hotel, an all-glass public visitor center tempting coffee with a view of Berlin.

 "Up here, Las Vegas begins" offices, luxury apartments, hotels, entertainment. Around the Mercedes-Platz, a completely new quarter is being built.Photo: promoDahinter, towards the Arena Hall, the square changes its character, it changes to the Main Plaza. "Las Vegas starts here," the planners joke. The new "Music Hall" is adjacent to the office building. The result is a multifunctional hall "in which almost everything can take place, from concerts to sports to comedy," is the title of a promotional brochure. The large hall offers around two and a half thousand seats on the ground floor, on two ranks and in boxes. The "Music Hall" is "the little sister" of the Mercedes-Benz-Arena, says the Anschutz Entertainment Group (AEG) that both halls should not compete, but complement each other sensibly. The world-active AEG of the US entrepreneur and billionaire Philip Anschutz runs since 2008 Berlin's largest event hall, the Arena. They will also manage the "Music Hall." The fourth building, on the other side of the Las Vegas area, will be handed over by the Anschutz Group to the UCI Kinowelt Group and a bowling company. In these days you will be balanced over rough concrete steps and puddles into the future largest, 15-meter-high hall of multiplex cinema with about 600 seats. A trellis of pillars is supported by the straight drawn-in bed. Drumherum, there are 13 smaller demonstration rooms. Total number of places: 2500.Demmalprotected. The East Side Gallery on the river Spree attracts many tourists.Photo: T. Rückeis And the bowling center? It is located on the first floor. For the "Bowling World", 28 tracks will be built, "that is enough to take a world championship," the planners say. The center also has a restaurant with a terrace. From there you can see the Mercedes-Benz Arena and the Warsaw Bridge. Before this, the new shopping center "East Side Mall" is also being hammered with full use, as if both construction sites were contesting. But "the best", as the planners swarm, will be the view of the Mercedes-Platz between Music Hall and the cinema and bowling complex: In the dark radiated water games with fountains are to rush there. Between plane trees, twelve-meter-high, triangular "media towers" tower on screen for films and events in the "Las Vegas" quarter.

 But does Berlin still need such a large, new entertainment district? Especially since Potsdamer Platz is already struggling with shrinking audience numbers. There is no concern for protection. They have planned their own place specifically as an event kiez, it is said. This was not the case at Potsdamer Platz. The living tower "Living Levels" stands on a fillet ground near the water.Photo: dpa Find architecture around the arena Critics clumsy and gloomyFor the architecture at the gate to the Mercedes-Benz-Arena sponsored by the Stuttgarter Autobauer and therefore bears its name Anschutz the motto from: "Clear edge at the East Side Gallery". All four buildings on the square are designed as angular boxes, the windows are arranged symmetrically, as on checkered blocks. Elegant curves are in vain. And the view of the only curved, lighter-looking building, the arena, is now restricted by the square buildings. Nevertheless, the planners assure themselves that the square will be "alive". And also criticize the criticism, already already make the area through the anthracite-colored Mercedes-Benz-Arena and the almost black Mercedes sales center in the close environment a gloomy impression. "Do not worry," says planner Kötter. Music Hall and UCI cinema would have rather colored facades. And then he points to "more than 15 cafes, pubs and bars, which feed in the place. "That makes a colorful scene."

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