Electrifying: a bridge to a power plant

Grand industrial architecture beside the Spree, Berlin: Charlottenburg Electric Kraftwerk and Siemenssteg bridge

Spanning the River Spree between the neighbourhoods of Charlottenburg and Moabit, the wonderfully ornate Siemenssteg bridge was completed in 1900, together with the electrical power plant to which it provided access.

Leaving no doubt about its relationship with the building it faces, the bridge's sandstone pillars are embellished with lightning-like motifs surrounding a section of sculpted electrical cable.

Electrical motif on side of Siemenssteg Bridge, Berlin

The fanciful bridge and similarly decorative power station reflect the fact that industrial spaces were once almost indistinguishable from grand municipal design; palaces of industry that tried very hard to resemble something they weren't.

Siemenssteg Bridge, Berlin
Siemenssteg Bridge and old section of Charlottenburg power plant, Berlin

Interestingly, a nearby, early 20th-century factory building was one of the first to challenge such thinking, its resolutely functional structure helping to usher in a new era of industrial architecture.

It's an influence that can clearly be seen in the the power plant's later additions, which range in date from the 1920s to the 1990s.

Together, the ensemble provides a kind of potted history of industrial design as well as a spectacular, looming presence on the Moabit skyline.

Charlottenburg power plant and Siemenssteg bridge, riverside Spree views, Berlin

See also:
The AEG Turbine factory
Discovering Moabit

Siemenssteg Bridge and Charlottenburg electrical power plant: Lüdtgeweg, 10587 Berlin

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