Marcel Breuer. Potsdamer Platz Project, Berlin, Germany, Axonometric. 1929

Marcel Breuer Potsdamer Platz Project, Berlin, Germany, Axonometric 1929

  • Not on view

In 1928 architects were invited to enter a competition to rethink traffic patterns in Berlin's Potsdamer Platz, an intersection of several of Berlin's major boulevards and subway lines. Potsdamer Platz had emerged as a symbol of the modern metropolis—a place of movement, interchange, and speed—but it had also created a thorny circulation problem. Europe's first traffic light was installed there, but still the site cried out for innovative traffic planning. Breuer imagined a solution in which architecture and traffic design were integral. He combined a cloverleaf configuration of roadways with multilevel pedestrian walkways and densely packed modern apartments and offices that spanned the roads. He proposed creating water features in the otherwise unusable residual space at the center of the cloverleaf, imagining a whole new dimension of the urban picturesque. This drawing by the twenty-six-year-old recent graduate of the Bauhaus has only recently come to light.

Gallery label from 75 Years of Architecture at MoMA, 2007
Ink, pencil, gouache and wash
Composition: 21 7/8 x 30 7/16" (55.5 x 77.3 cm) Sheet: 24 3/4 x 33 11/16" (62.8 x 85.5 cm)
Gift of Elise Jaffe + Jeffrey Brown
Object number
Architecture and Design