Berlin's Oddest Skyscrapers Look Unreal Out of Context

By Bryan Menegus on at

In the years after World War II, Berlin saw a number of new skyscrapers erected to provide the burgeoning middle class with affordable housing. Even though many were designed by famous architects they were eventually viewed as concrete monsters and mouldered in disuse, until recently.

In a recent series, 36-year-old photographer Malte Brandenburg sought to document these bizarre complexes as they start a new life as home base for the city’s artists. Originally born in West Berlin, Brandenburg heavily researched the surrounding structures to shoot these strangely colourful buildings at a low angle. Likewise, he shot on cloudless days to isolate the skyscrapers from the rest of the city.

“I... spent a lot of time on Google Earth to find buildings where I can have a clear shot from a long distance or which are located close to parking decks,” Brandenburg told Gizmodo. “I wanted to illustrate these buildings in a simple way as what they are, so that the viewer can examine them next to each other.”

Berlin's Oddest Skyscrapers Look Unreal Out of Context

While their reputation as imposing seems earned, many of the colours on the facades of these towers are unusually inviting, especially in contrast to well known cities which are a sea of grey, grey, and more grey. “In some instances the colours have been added later on, but most of them have been built like this... they look a bit nicer at least and it somehow shows as well that people take care of them, accept them,” says Brandenburg. [Malte Brandenburg]

Berlin's Oddest Skyscrapers Look Unreal Out of Context