The demolition of the remains of the Palace of the Republic in the centre of Berlin is scheduled for the end of 2005, yet the future of the site is still uncertain. There are no funds to finance the reconstruction of the old Prussian castle which once stood on the site. The most likely scenario for the immediate future: a grassed over empty plot - an ironic symbol for the lack of ideas and ambition. Are there really no alternatives?

It seems high time to overcome the Cold War like polarised debate between castle protagonists and defenders of the Palace. Key issues are yet to be addressed: the current lack of funds for a large public structure, the development of an ambitious and innovative use concept and a debate as to what constitutes a public building in the twenty-first century?

A new generation of international architects, artists and urban professionals have developed proposals and ideas to re-energise the debate about the most important urban space of Berlin. Proposals by Abalos & Herreros, Madrid, An Architektur, Berlin, ANC Arquitectos, Porto with Christian Gänshirt, Berlin, Tim Edler / Wilfried Hackenbroich / Markus Hirschmüller / Harry Schindele, Berlin, Bureau Alexander Brodsky, Moskau, Eduard Bru arquitectes, Barcelona, Jens Fischer, Leipzig, Grüntuch / Ernst Architekten, Berlin, bernd kniess architekten stadtplaner, Köln, Kühn Malvezzi, Berlin, Joost Meuwissen, Amsterdam, Daniel Milohnic / Lex Rijkers, Frankfurt/M, muf architecture/art, London, Marjetica Potrc with nova stran, Studio for Architecture, Ljubljana, Raumlabor, Berlin, Fred Rubin, Berlin, Superflex, Kopenhagen, Eric Tschaikner, Linz, Michael Zinganel with Michael Hieslmair and Hans H. Albers, Wien, Graz.

Fun Palace 200X, Der Berliner Schlossplatz. Abriss, Neubau oder grüne Wiese? Published by P. Misselwitz H.-U. Obrist, P. Oswalt, Martin-Schmitz-Verlag, Berlin 2005 (ISBN 3-927795-35-6). 16,50 €, Language: German

Background: The major international conference Fun Palace Berlin 200X in October 2004 brought together guests from around the world to participate in an open brainstorming, conducted in the Palace of the Republic in Berlin. The conference was curated by an international team consisting of Philipp Misselwitz, Hans-Ulrich Obrist, Philipp Oswalt and Stefan Rethfeld The conference and related events were inspired by the groundbreaking work of the architect and thinker Cedric Price (1934-2003) and in particular his radical unrealized architectural vision for a Fun Palace (1961-1966). Participants were invited to develop ideas and proposals in form of public statements. After the conference, the texts were developed and a new call for ideas (March – May 2005) was launched, inviting more proposals in text and image.

The publication: The collection of radical ideas and proposals together with the lectures and discussions from the conference now for the first time been made available in book form. The book includes contributions from An Architektur, Dirk Baecker, Alexander Brodsky, Abalos & Herreros, Wolfgang Kaschuba, Rem Koolhaas, Qingyun Ma, muf architecture/art, Cedric Price, Werner Sewing, Superflex, Jean-Philippe Vassal, Mark Wigley and many others. This pool for ideas intends to open a critical new debate, before the planned demolition of the ruin-like Palace of the Republic creates new and irreversible reality. It is hoped that the book will stimulate wider public discussion and encourage widespread participation in the future debate.

16th July – 26th August, Palace of the Republic
Entrance Fee: 5 Euro, included in the general entrance ticket for „Volkspalast: Der Berg“ (from 04.08.2005)
Opening hours in July: Sundays between 15:00 and 18:00 hours
Opening hours from 4th till 26th August: daily from 11:00 till 23:00 hours
Curators: Philipp Misselwitz / Philipp Oswalt (Urban Catalyst)
Organisation: Melanie Klofat (mk*at*
The exhibition was realised in cooperation with Volkspalast – Der Berg
We would like to thank the Academy of Arts Berlin for their kind support.

16th of June 2005, Palace of the Republic (14.30 – 22.00 hours)
The opening of the exhibition will be accompanied by the public symposium ‘After demolition? New Ideas for Berlin’s Most Central Site’, including Arnold Bartetzky, Regina Bittner, Wilhelm von Boddien, Friedrich Dieckmann, Karl Ganser, Nikolaus Hirsch, Wolfgang Kaschuba, Wolfgang Kil, Bernd Kniess, Jürgen Mayer H., Joost Meuwissen, Bojana Pejic, Goerd Peschken, Michael Rutschky. The Symposium will be conducted in German.

Curators: Philipp Misselwitz / Philipp Oswalt (Urban Catalyst)
Organisation: Melanie Klofat (mk*at*
The symposium was realised in cooperation with Volkspalast – Der Berg
We would like to thank the Academy of Arts Berlin for their kind support.