"It went from people saying 'The Wall must go' to people asking 'Where is the Wall?'"
Manfred Kühne was born in Ellwangen (Baden-Württemberg) in 1958 and studied architecture in Kaiserslautern and Berlin. Having qualified in structural engineering with the Berlin Senate Administration for Building and Housing in 1991, he worked for five years as a freelance urban planner before being employed in the architecture workshop of the Berlin Senate Administration for Building and Housing. He was then appointed director of urban planning in Stralsund from 1997 to 2001 and director of the Supreme Monument Authority in the Berlin Senate Administration for Urban Development until 2008. He recalls that the plans to develop the Spreeufer area were made at a time when preserving the Berlin Wall was not prioritized. In his view, the city took the desperate measure of selling the land to build an entertainment quarter because it was bankrupt. Today Manfred Kühne is head of the city planning department in the Senate Administration for Urban Development.
"When the Wall fell, a kind of no man’s land became available here along the Spree."