Making an entrance: an architectural extravaganza
A large, 19th-century edifice located beside the canal on the Reichpietschufer was once headquarters to the Reichsversicherungsamt, the German Empire's foremost social insurance authority (today it houses Berlin's Social Science Centre, or WZB).
The building was, of course, designed to impress, and achieves this with all the extravagance typical of the so-called Gründerzeit period - its astounding wrought iron entranceway, in particular, probably merits a visit in its own right.
In an interesting twist of coincidence, the WZB is located just a short distance from a very different building indeed: Mies van der Rohe's celebrated Neue Nationalgalerie, which, with its restrained, rational lines, is the complete antithesis of such effusive ornamentation.
Both locations are extraordinary, but it somehow seems unlikely that many of the Nationalgalerie's thousands of visitors walk the few steps to Reichpietschufer in order to gaze at one of Berlin's lesser known architectural gems.
Perhaps, after reading this, they will.
WZB (former Reichsversicherungsamt) Reichpietschufer 50, 10785 Berlin