Even the prototype demonstrates the exhilarating design potential offered by the TERRART®-system. In developing his scheme, Piano was conscious of the fact that “a city draws on its past while addressing the present”. For the Genoese architect, this implied a simultaneous acknowledgement and demystification of the traditional Berlin stone façade and culminated in the creation of a contemporary 64,000 sq. m façade that fashions a unique, unmistakable identity for an entire streetscape. All design criteria were met using the flexible terracotta façade system.
Renzo Piano’s greatest desire during the construction period was for “this location to achieve the miraculous state of joyful normality”. As Piano put it, “For the first time in history, it is possible to create an entire urban district within five to ten years. You haven’t the slightest inkling about who is going to breathe life into the new quarter. Part of the success must be instantaneous.” The tremendous flexibility of the system permitted unlimited variety in the design of the façades, whether blank or transparent. Despite the substantial variations, the common denominator – natura lcoloured terracotta guarantees an overall impression of harmony. The result is a unique ambience, unmatched anywhere in the world, that has fulfilled Renzo Piano’s wish sooner than anticipated.