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Bastardized Gestalt

Location: Berlin
Type: Speculative
Year: 2012

“Where are you? - I know where I am, but I do not feel as though I’m at the spot where I find myself.” - Roger Caillois; Mimicry and Legendary Psychasthenia


The bastardized Gestalt explores the defamiliarization of architectural style through matters of a fragmented whole.

The focus is on creating an architectural entity through the defamiliarization of two specific styles – baroque and brutalism without drifting off into concepts of collage but towards an estranged entity.

The site is set in Berlin, Mitte, where political space, traumatic memory and distorted identity are deeply entangled with one another.


The project is engaged with the Schlossplatz competition, the resurrection of the baroque city castle on the ground of the brutalist East Berlin Palace of the Republic.


After Germany's reunification in 1990, the German parliament decided to demolish the Palace and to resurrect the city castle. This decision disregards the fact that both buildings do not exist anymore – only the idea of their original Gestalt remains.


Therefore this speculative project is a lobotomy of the familiar in order to understand, defragment and destabilize. 


The building can never compose itself entirely, and therefore remains to be an instable entity. The ever wandering figure of fickle change between collapse and revive in face of its own reflection.


Bastardized Gestalt was part of Maya's Thesis at Sci-Arc. Elena Manferdini was her thesis advisor.

Project Lead: Maya Alam

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