BERLIN1928 is set to become a state-of-the-art virtual reality simulation of Berlin during the 1920s, made up of a complete virtual reconstruction of the city during the period between the two world wars. This simulated model of the city will be accessible through different applications and will be brought to life with the inclusion of narrative stories from that period.
In 2016, 31 million tourists had an overnight stay in Berlin. Many of them would have loved to experience the city as it once was, in all its glory.
DIE VIRTUAL REALITY SIMULATION
This simulation of 1928 Berlin will begin with the MItte district and continually expand out from there. The Museumsinsel, the old Philharmonie, the Berlin Castle, and Vossstrasse are already mapped out as part of a case study, and nearby Unter den Linden as well as Friedrichstrasse are set to follow.
This herculean task of virtually rebuilding 700 years of historical architecture will obviously not be able to be completed by a handful of 3D artists. To make this grand project work, we are creating an online platform to begin crowd funding for the project and to recruit more helping hands. One target group we are especially reaching out to is students of architecture, who will be able to work with us on the digitalizing of the city. Currently existing models that others have created or want to create can be integrated into our simulation. One key goal of our project is to be as historically accurate and authentic as possible. In the later stages of the project we will work to include other timeframes such as the 1650s, 1880s and even 1939.
This project is meant to be more than just a digital reconstruction of 1920s Berlin. We want to go further, and to bring this simulation to life. The flow of life within the city, which in 1924 had at least 800,000 more citizens than today, also needs to be experienced. Traffic, pedestrians, culture, music, art, film, science and ordinary life on the streets will be brought to life. The first swimming pool with artificial waves, the first indoor ski slope, the many malls, department stores, and theaters are all places we want people to experience firsthand, as if they had really travelled back in time and had arrived in old Berlin.
The story of the grand metropolis of Berlin will be brought to life. Users will be able to have Marlene Dietrich, Albert, George Grosz and Vladimir show us their Berlin and tell their story of the city’s “golden 20s.” Taking part in famous Berlin adventures, they will be able to go searching for M and will get to be detectives with Emil.
1. CONSTRUCTION SECTION – THE BERLIN PALACE
In the first step, we want to bring the old Berlin City Palace to life. Here we have already completed about 80% of the required models. The area around the castle as well as the courtyards and some of the prestigious interiors and stairwells are to be made accessible.
The old castle can thus be experienced again virtually. The magnificent parade rooms, the apothecary’s wing and the inner courtyard facades will be on display again. This will perfectly complement the currently under construction facade reconstruction of the old castle.
2. CONSTRUCTION SECTION – UNTER DEN LINDEN
After the castle and its surroundings, we want to realize the next step: Unter den Linden. From the castle to the Brandenburg Gate.
The old Adlon, the Bauakademie (building academy) and the Kaisergalerie invite you to take a virtual stroll.
3. CONSTRUCTION SECTION – “MITTE” AND “ALT BERLIN
Alexanderplatz, Unter den Linden, Pariser Platz, Potsdamer Platz, Leipziger Straße. The Kaisergalerie, Friedrichstraße and the entire area of the old Cölln will be integrated into the simulation.
Old Berlin. The centre of the metropolis. The VR simulation is growing!
Now a wide variety of applications are conceivable. Of course, we are primarily thinking of the VR application for the headset at home. With the architectural model as a background, the manifold stories of the city can now be experienced. From Tucholsky, Josephine Baker, Anna Pavlova and Max Liebermann to Emil and his detectives.
We also want to show this VR simulation through various fixed installations in museums or pavilions.
What unites the team is the fascination for the old, lost Berlin. The mythical Atlantis of the golden 20s. Its magnificent buildings, its unconditional modernism, its cultural radiance, its vitality and its central role in Europe and the world as a metropolis.
This fascination has accumulated a tremendous wealth of knowledge over the years. Collections of more than 100,000 pictures and stories, as well as detailed knowledge about the centre of Alt-Berlin have been created.
The most accurate models of the entire area around the old castle and some outstanding architecture, such as the old Philharmonic Hall or the hitchhiker’s station, have been created in lovingly detailed work.
The project aims to raise these treasures and make accumulated knowledge accessible, to tell stories from the history of a metropolis.
We now have the possibility to make this dream of time travel come true. Current graphics capabilities in combination with the newest virtual reality (VR) headsets are fast and efficient enough to produce highly immersive digital realities. This is only the beginning, however, as worldwide efforts are in motion to make these VR experiences even bigger and better.
The models making up the base of our VR simulation have been constructed over years of work. They have been created with an obsession for architectural detail and an affection for the craft of virtual simulation. These models demonstrate the level of enthusiasm and passion with which we, as a team, are meeting the challenge of reviving the golden era of Berlin.
They impressively demonstrate the passion with which we, as a team, take up the challenge of bringing Berlin’s golden age back to life.
Berlin would be the first city with authentic time travel – and a living virtual archaeology.
Virtual Reality is the future – anyone who has experienced it live understands the addictive factor of immersion. With no other medium can Berlin live up to its reputation as a digital frontrunner and at the same time tell its great story in a future-oriented way!
the world’s largest
virtual city simulation.
Dipl. Industrial Designer, studiolanger.com has been working in the fields of corporate architecture, exhibition and 3D visualization since 1991. Socialized in Munich. October 1989 Move to Berlin. Studied at the HdK, graduated in industrial design. Afterwards vertical start with the Triad Projektgesellschaft. From Mercedes Benz to the Bertelsmann Pavilion at the Expo in Hanover in 2000, parallel to the start of independent business with KfW’s appearance at the Expo. Until today, he has worked with his own agency for many well-known international agencies and clients.
Dr. Benedikt Goebel,
Urban historian, topographer – stadtforschung-goebel.de
Studied history in Münster, Vienna and Berlin (doctorate in 2003). Staff member of the Berlinische Galerie, the Architekturmuseum Berlin and the Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin. Since 2011 owner of the Berlin Office for Urban Research. Since 2017 visiting professor for construction history at the Beuth Hochschule für Technik Berlin. Member of the Berlin Historical Commission, werkbund berlin, speaker of the Bürgerforum Berlin and board member of the AIV zu Berlin.
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