Monday, April 29, 2013

Radial System III (Kreuzberg)

Walking down Berlin it might happend to rise the eyes and have a look to these elegant long-limbed chimneys made by red bricks which try to stay still on top of this everyday changing city, like silent traces of a great industrial past of Berlin. These structures were part of the old Abwasserpumpwerk (Water Pumping Stations).

With the rapid growth of population and industrialization of the second part of the 19th century, the healthy and sanitary contitions where going bad, so it was important to build a new water and sanitary system. The city was divided into 12 sectors, creating a Radial System, with a station for each sector, with the purpose to drain the water from the industrial use together with the private houses and the rain one.

Most of the structures have been destroyed by the two world wars, the surviving ones have been reused for commercial and cultural use (the Friedrichshain Radialsystem XII is still in use from 1861).

The Radial System III has been no longer used by the 70's and then it became a “Lapidarium”, an exhibition of sculputes and commemorations plates which were taken from the strees and put inside here to preserve them. With the time passing, the plates and the statues are back to their original locations and the Lapidarium is not still visitable, sold to a private agency.

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