Eisenman conceived this project shortly after the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1991. Its site—just north of the intersection of two of Berlin's most prominent and historically rich thoroughfares, the Unter den Linden and the Friedrichstrasse—had been previously occupied by the fantastic Expressionist playhouse of Max Reinhardt, a prominent theater producer in Germany in the early decades of the twentieth century.
In order to capture Reinhardt's legendary energy and vision, Eisenman devised a prismatic form that is a world unto itself but also reflects the constantly changing and multifaceted character of the city. In Eisenman's design (which was never built), the thirty-four-story building vertically folds on its core to create a structure that separates, transforms, and rejoins itself horizontally at the roof level.
The form was generated by three operations performed on a Möbius strip, a three-dimensional geometric form with a single continuous surface. In the first operation, planes were generated from the triangulation of surfaces, which permitted the development of a surface order for exterior cladding and a trussed structure for vertical and lateral support. The second operation inverted the strip, triangulated the surfaces again, and imprinted the outlines of these surfaces on the initial form. The third step folded large public spaces between the grid and floor plates of an already folded structure. The building, whose height and creased form create an imposing presence, reflects a continually shifting urban paradigm.
Publication excerpt from The Museum of Modern Art, MoMA Highlights since 1980, New York: The Museum of Modern Art, 2007, p. 134.