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One of the world s most distinguished architects working today tells the story of the re-designing of Berlin s Reichstag the home of Germany s Parliament and symbol of a new and re-united Germany.
In 1992, Germany decided to move its parliament from Bonn back to Berlin and to house it in the historic Reichstag. Sir Norman Foster won the subsequent competition to use the shell of the building and completely re-think it as a symbol of a new age in the nation s history. Opened to coincide with Berlin s new status as capital and once again as a great city, his design incorporates a glass dome, built above the assembly chamber, from which visitors can view the vibrant city below.
Nearly demolished by the Nazis after its bombing in 1933, and heavily bombed during World War II, a patched-up Reichstag was used as a museum between 1958-72. Few buildings are so expressive of Germany s history. This major work, written by Foster with essays by others eminent in the field, reveals how this re-design reflects Germany s turbulent past as well as the hopes that accompany the destruction of the Wall between East and West and the re-unification of the nation. Archival material, many new photographs, and Foster s own sketches and drawings all serve to round out this timely work on the transformation of an iconic structure.
Norman Foster is the director of Foster & Partners, the international architectural firm. Born in 1935, he received his architectural training at Manchester and Yale. Norman Foster was knighted in 1990, received the Gold Medal of the American Institute of Architects in 1994, and the Pritzker Prize for Architecture in 1999.