The plan for the Capital of a reunited Germany in Berlin seeks to reconcile the competing claims of architecture, urban planning, and politics. The Spreebogen site includes the partially restored Reichstag that was the center of Albert Speer’s plan for the Third Reich. The competition program called for a plan on the site of about 70 acres on a bend in the Spree River (Spreebogen) for the Bundestag, Bundesrat, Chancellor’s House, and press areas, together an area of over 10 million square feet.
In the traditional context of Berlin urbanism, a canal extends to a circular water basin at the heart of the site, a focal point unifying the different administrative and bureaucratic buildings. Rotated about the circular water basin is a diagonal transportation and visual axis that links the Brandenburg Gate, Reichstag, and Bundestag across the canal and the Spree River to the Lehter train station. These two intersecting axes allow the Capital site to be developed at both monumental scale of the sweeping vista and the more intimate scale of a neighborhood town square as the setting for casual debates of political questions. The urban plan seeks to respect the existing buildings and monuments, make lucid and rational the articulation of the main programmatic elements of Parliament, and to create dynamic places for people to gather and work.