by Lara van de Coterlet
The first time I visited and admired the East Side Gallery was in July 2013. The astonishing artworks on the Wall were mind blowing. Walking down the street next to the Wall and admiring piece by piece was the only thing I could do. There was not one thing that would have drawn your attention away from the artworks. Three years later I visited the East Side Gallery again, but this time it went differently. While walking over there the Wall was not my central point of attention, not at all actually. It was the Living Levels that took away all my attention.
Living Levels is a modern and outstanding residential building which is located between the Spree and the East Side Gallery. In October 2015 the first residents moved in. With its 14 floors and its very impressive exterior, the 60 meters high Living Levels will be one of the first things you will look at. The concept of Living Levels is that they strive for quality, modernity and sustainability through energy efficient pump technology. The building was planned by PAKA, an engineering office and the implementation planning was performed
by the engineering office Frank Zabel. The building owner is the company LIVING BAUHAUS that has similar projects in Berlin.
What I like about this building is mostly the location, which gives it a nice contrast between old and new. From the street you look up at the East Side Gallery and behind it you see a building that breaths modernity and luxury. While on the other hand the East Side Gallery reminds you of the separation of East and West and the poverty of the East. […] Living Levels strengthens this feeling of empathizing with those people who want to forget that separation and build a new life. And with this building you can literally see how Berlin is trying and succeeding in building up a unified city.
Of course I could go on and on about the beautiful location at the Spree and not to mention the view that the residents have while having dinner at their home. But also the architecture is something that has to be mentioned. Although I am not the biggest fan of modern architecture, this building is really something that caught my eye. The amount of glass in the building makes the building astonishing. And because of the 4 meters high ceilings it gives a very open expression. Living there with so much light and this spectacular view would give you some sort of tranquility.
Given all these loving words you would think there is not a downside. But to live in a penthouse and enjoy the amazing view waking up to every morning, you will have to put down 15.000 euro per square meter. So unfortunately this luxury is not for everyone.
But this does not mean we cannot enjoy the amazing architecture of Living Levels, while walking alongside the East Side Gallery. Gazing up into the sky and wondering how it will look from the other side. In my opinion Living Levels is modern art where history and future meet.