Technische Universität Berlin
75 Years of TU Berlin © Janine Rülicke

75 Years of TU Berlin

Two films offering an enlightening look back as well as an auspicious view of things to come

A new institution of higher education came into being in Berlin on 9 April 1946: Technische Universität Berlin. The re-establishment of a university of technology in Berlin under a new name and ethos at the end of the Second World War represented a new democratic start. This year, we celebrate the 75th anniversary of this event. To do justice to this unique occasion, we have made two videos providing a look back into the past and forward into the future.

The first film is entitled “A View of the Future” and addresses the question of what kind of University we want to have after the pandemic – continue as we were or create something new and different. TU president Professor Dr. Christian Thomsen discusses possible scenarios for an improved work-life balance and better quality of life for both students and staff. A conference open to all staff and students will take place in June 2021 to gather ideas for working, researching, teaching and studying together in the future. The aim is to design the future democratically from the bottom up rather than top down. Getting rid of what we no longer need, thinking and doing the seemingly impossible and a new TU Berlin/Staff Council agreement for mobile working are just some of the topics to be examined.

The second film is entitled “Campus of Opposites” and explores how the new beginning in 1946 manifested itself in the University’s architecture as well as its research and teaching. What should the University look like? How could old and new be brought together? Many of the motives and goals of the reconstruction process have been lost over the course of time and require explanation. Our search for answers begins with the monument to Werner von Siemens in front of the Mathematics Building, takes us past the south facade of the Main Building and on to the former Institute of Mining and Metallurgy before ascending up to the Geodätenstand on the roof of the Main Building. This is followed by a drone flight down into the Atrium, a space that has played host over the years to emperors, kings and queens, and federal chancellors.

Enjoy the enlightening look back over the past, the wonderful panoramas and the view of the future offered by these films.

“A View of the Future” with Nadine Hadad and Christian Thomsen

© Anna Groh

Please note: Once you watch the video, data will be transmitted to Youtube/Google. For more information, see Google Privacy.

From up on the roof of the University Library, the future of TU Berlin seems within easy reach. You can see all the bustling activity on the construction site below as the shells of two new University buildings rise into the air.  A new Mathematics Building and the Interdisciplinary Center for Modeling and Simulation (IMoS) will soon form new additions to the campus.

However, working bottom up not only applies to the construction process. New ideas for studying, researching and working at TU Berlin after the pandemic are also to be developed using this principle.

Join TU Berlin president Professor Christian Thomsen and alumna Nadine Hadad on their voyage of discovery into the future of the University.

Note: Please turn on the English subtitles (captions). The option is visible on the bottom right of the video player.

“Campus of Opposites” with Julia Meyer-Brehm and Hans-Dieter Nägelke

© Romina Becker

Please note: Once you watch the video, data will be transmitted to Youtube/Google. For more information, see Google Privacy.

The white facade of TU Berlin’s Main Building from the 1960s and its wings clearly dating from an earlier period represent a successful marriage of old and new. Of course, for some it might also look as if the new multi-story section has been rammed in between the older elements. A barely concealed triumphal gesture. However one sees it, the appearance of the Main Building provokes many questions.

Dr. Hans-Dieter Nägelke, Head of TU Berlin’s Architecture Museum, and Julia Meyer-Brehm, student of art history at TU Berlin, know all about the many special features, oddities and even outright eccentricities of the architecture of the campus: Steps that do not lead straight up, buildings that straddle visual axes or rise up into the sky like exclamation marks.

In the course of a twenty-minute tour of the campus accompanied by a drone flight, Nägelke and Meyer-Brehm provide a knowledgeable, entertaining and fascinating commentary on why the campus looks the way it does and how this relates to the founding of Technische Universität Berlin on 9 April 1946.

Note: Please turn on the English subtitles (captions). The option is visible on the bottom right of the video player.