Learn about the history of this former GDR State Council Building
Schlossplatz 1 at ESMT Berlin is located in the historic, political, and scientific heart of the city. Previously the state council building of the East German government, the building’s nearly 5,000 square meters event space now welcome meetings and events for groups of all sizes.
Once the home of the East German State Council, Schlossplatz 1 is now the home of ESMT Berlin, a private business school. The historic building is located just steps from a wealth of other city monuments, including the newly reconstructed Berlin Palace, the Berlin Cathedral, the Red Town Hall – which houses Berlin’s city government – as well as a host of other city attractions on the neighboring Museum Island.
In addition to being a political reminder of a once-divided Berlin, this three-story historic monument is also a testament to the architectural design of postwar Germany. Built from 1962 to 1964, the former state council building was an expression of the architectural modernity of the German Democratic Republic. It was opened on October 3, 1964. The building's distinctive Baroque portal – first designed by Johann Friedrich Eosander von Göthe in 1713 as Portal IV for the Berlin Palace – became in slightly modified form part of the façade in 1963. Approximately 20 percent of today's Portal IV consists of the original building material. According to legend, the famous socialist politician Karl Liebknecht proclaimed the “Socialist Republic” from the balcony of the portal in 1918.
From 1999 to 2001 the building served as the Federal Chancellery under the former German Federal Chancellor Gerhard Schröder.
Between 2003 and 2005, the historic Schlossplatz 1 was lavishly reconstructed to meet the needs of a modern world. This includes the international student body of ESMT Berlin, which was founded as a private business school by 25 leading global companies and institutions. Since 2006, Schlossplatz 1 has hosted and catered an impressive array of seminars, lectures, conferences, and social events for academic institutions, government agencies, as well as groups and companies.
- 141 meters long, 25 meters wide, and 27.5 meters high – unique among East German architecture
- 3 years to build, under the direction of the architect Roland Korn from 1962 to 1964
- For 2 years (1999-2001) the building was the seat of the Federal Chancellery under the former Chancellor Gerhard Schröder
- 36 million euro for renovation and modernization from 2003 to 2005
- 4 million euro for further expansion from 2016 to 2017
Credit: “Schlossplatz Berlin” by Philipp Meuser (DOM Publishers, 2016)