Space age shopping, socialist mosaics

Berlin's most futuristic modern building? The Eastgate shopping centre, Marzahn

Looking more like something from a sci-fi movie than a shopping mall, the huge metallic swoosh of the Eastgate Centre adds a touch of futuristic drama to Marzahner Promenade.

Constructed in 2005, the sculptural ensemble bridges a busy highway directly to the adjacent S-Bahn station, and is especially dramatic at night when it glows like a neon landing strip for passing UFOs.

But there's more to the Marzahner Promenade than a particularly eye-catching retail centre.

Marzahn's 'space-age' shopping centre, Berlin

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The boulevard was built between 1984 and 1991 as one of East Berlin's last GDR-era residential projects, and although the expanse of Plattenbauten concrete towers is unlikely to appeal to most, two exceptional works by East German artist Walter Womacka are hidden among the high-rise.

GDR-era Walter Womacka mosaic, 'Frieden' in Marzahn, Berlin

The large-scale mosaics 'Frieden' (Peace - above) and 'Arbeit für das Glück des Menschen' (Work for the happiness of the people - below) are easily as impressive as Womacka's better-known works located in and around Alexanderplatz, and have recently been restored to their original, multi-coloured glory.

GDR-era Walter Womacka mosaic, 'Arbeit für das Glück des Menschen' in Marzahn, Berlin

For art enthusiasts, they're certainly worth making a trip to far-flung Marzahn to see, while the space-age palace of consumerism just a few blocks away adds a somewhat ironic twist to Womacka's earnest evocation of a better, brighter socialist future.

Location of Walter Womacka mosaics in Marzahner Promenade, Berlin

See also:
Berlin's first high-rise, and an industrial-chic shopping mall
A storybook GDR mosaic in Karl-Marx-Allee
A Chinese teahouse in Marzahn
Europe's largest mural, Marzahn's swankiest street

Eastgate Centre shopping mall: Marzahner Promenade 1A, 12679 Berlin
Opening times: Mon-Thurs, 10am-8pm; Fri-Sat, 10am-9pm
Mosaics by Walter Womacka: Marzahner Promenade 40 and 45 (on sides of buildings, see locations on Google satellite shot above)

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