Berlin is known for its rich history, stunning architecture, and cultural diversity. But one design that often goes overlooked is the street lighting created by Albert Speer, Hitler’s favorite architect. If you want to experience some of the city’s lesser-known design pieces, you will be aware of the Albert Speer street lights.
Albert Speer was a German architect tasked with the massive redevelopment of Berlin. He also served as the Minister of Armaments and War Production in Nazi Germany during most of World War II. Besides that, he was a close ally of Adolf Hitler and was convicted at the Nuremberg trials and sentenced to 20 years in prison.
Before the Second World War, Albert Speer was tasked with designing the city’s “Welthauptstadt,” complete with a grand boulevard and monumental buildings. We talked a bit about it when we wrote about Schwerbelastungskörper a couple of years ago. However, one of his lesser-known works is still in the town today – the Albert Speer street lights.
Starting at Tiergarten S-Bahn station, where the railway line crosses Straße des 17. Juni, you’ll notice a sudden change in the style of the streetlights. If you walk the road toward Charlottenburger Tor and follow these sleek and functional lights, you’ll see how they line the remaining stretch of Straße des 17. Juni, Bismarckstrasse, and Kaiserdamm before finally finishing at Theodor-Heuss Platz.
When the lights were first installed, the square was named Adolf-Hitler-Platz and would have assumed a significant position in Speer’s newly designed city. Nowadays, Hitler lost the war, and the square has a different name, but the street lights still stand.
The Speer street lights are a testament to the architect’s design philosophy. But, today, Albert Speer street lights stand as a hidden curiosity around Berlin’s design landscape. They can be viewed along almost 5 kilometers of the city’s busiest streets, providing a glimpse into the vision of one of Germany’s most controversial architects.
So, if you’re looking for an off-the-beaten-path design experience in Berlin, take a stroll down Straße des 17. Juni, Bismarckstrasse, and Kaiserdamm appreciate Albert Speer’s work. If this is something we can genuinely do based on his legacy as a close ally of Adolf Hitler and his years as a Minister in Nazi Germany.
Albert Speer Street Lights Still Stand in Berlin
Str. des 17. Juni, between Tiergarten S-Bahn and Theodor-Heuss-Platz, Berlin